WRTG101 UMUC Writing And Fighting Mid-term Test Exam Help

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Joseph Harris Rewriting How to Do Things With Texts Rewriting R ewriting How to Do Things with Texts J oseph H arris U TA H S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y P R E S S Logan, Utah Utah State University Press Logan, Utah 84322 Copyright © 2006 Utah State University Press All rights reserved Printed on acid-free paper Cover design by Barbara Yale-Read Manufactured in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Harris, Joseph (Joseph D.) Rewriting : how to do things with texts / Joseph Harris. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 0-87421-642-7 (pbk. : alk. paper) ISBN 0-87421-539-0 (e-book) 1. English language--Rhetoric--Study and teaching. 2. Persuasion (Rhetoric)--Study and teaching. 3. Academic writing--Study and teaching. I. Title. PE1404.H363 2006 808’.042071--dc22 2006004631 For Kate and Mora Contents Introduction 1 1 Coming to Terms 13 2 Forwarding 34 3 Countering 54 4 Taking an Approach 5 Revising 73 98 Afterword: Teaching Rewriting Acknowledgments Index 137 135 124 Introduction All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. —U.S. copyright notice A text is made up of multiple writings, drawn from many cultures and entering into mutual relations of dialogue, parody, contestation. —Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author” M y aim in this book is to help you make interesting use of the texts you read in the essays you write. How do you respond to the work of others in a way that is both generous and assertive? How do you make their words and thoughts part of what you want to Intertexts say? In the academy you will often As Jonathan Culler writes: “Literary works are not to be considered be asked to situate your thoughts autonomous entities, ‘organic about a text or an issue in relation wholes,’ but as intertextual conto what others have written about structs: sequences which have it. Indeed, I’d argue that this intermeaning in relation to other texts which they take up, cite, parody, play of ideas defines academic writrefute, or generally transform.” The ing—that whatever else they may Pursuit of Signs (Ithaca, NY: Cornel do, intellectuals almost always write University Press, 1981), 38. in response to the work of others. 1 (Literary theorists call this aspect of writing intertextuality.) But to respond is to do more than to recite or ventriloquize; we expect a respondent to add something to what is being talked about. The question for an academic writer, then, is how to come up with this something else, to add to what has already been said. My advice here is to imagine yourself as rewriting—as drawing from, commenting on, adding to—the work of others. Almost all academic essays and books contain within them the visible traces of other texts—in the form of notes, quotations, citations, charts, figures, illustrations, and the like. This book is about the writing that needs to go on around these traces, about what you need to do to make the work of others an integral part of your own thinking and writing. This kind of work often gets talked about in ways—avoiding plagiarism, documenting sources, citing authorities, acknowledging influences—that make it seem a dreary and legalistic concern. But for me this misses the real excitement of intellectual writing—which is the chance to engage with and rewrite the work of other thinkers. The job of an intellectual is to push at and question what has been said before, to rethink and reinterpret the texts he or she is dealing with. More than anything else, then, I hope in this book to encourage you to take a stance toward the work of others that, while generous and fair, is also playful, questioning, and assertive. This has led some readers to ask why I’ve chosen a term like rewriting to describe this sort of active and critical stance. And, certainly, I hope it’s clear that the kind of rewriting I value has nothing to do with simply copying or reciting the work of others. Quite the contrary. My goal is to show you some ways of using their texts for your purposes. The reason I call this rewriting is to point to a generative paradox of academic work: Like all writers, intellectuals need to say something new and say it well. But unlike many other writers, what intellectuals have to say is bound up inextricably with the books we are reading, the movies we are watching, the music we are listening to, and the ideas of the people we are talking with. Our creativity thus has its roots in the work of others—in response, reuse, and rewriting. Rewriting is also a usefully specific and concrete word; it refers not to a feeling or idea but to an action. In this book I approach rewriting as what the ethnographer Sylvia Scribner has called a social practice: the use of 2 Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts certain tools (paper, pen, computer) Intertexts in a well-defined context (the acadSylvia Scribner, “The Practice of emy) to achieve a certain end or Literacy,” in Mind and Social Pracmake a particular product (a crititice (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 190–205. cal essay). There are practices in all walks of life—ways of farming and gardening, of working with leather or wood, of interviewing clients and counseling patients, of teaching and coaching, of designing and engineering, of setting up labs and conducting experiments. A practice describes how the members of a particular craft or trade get their work done. A problem with many books on writing, it seems to me, is that they fail to imagine their subject in meaningful terms as such a practice. Instead, they tend to alternate between offering advice that is specific but trivial—about proofreading or copyediting, for instance—and exhortations that are as earnest as they are vague. Or at least I have never felt sure that I knew what I was actually being asked to do when called upon to “think critically” or to “take risks” or to “approach revision as re-vision.” But by looking here at academic writing as a social practice, as a set of strategies that intellectuals put to use in working with texts, I hope to describe some of its key moves with a useful specificity. Much of my thinking about writing hinges on this idea of a move. My subtitle alludes to one of the quirkiest and most intriguing books I have ever read, the philosopher J. L. Austin’s How to Do Things with Words. In this book, actually the notes from a series of lectures, Austin argues that in thinking about language his fellow philosophers have long been overconcerned with decoding the precise meaning or truth value of various statements—a fixation that has blinded them from considering the routine yet complex ways in which people use words to get things done: to marry, to promise, to bet, to apologize, to persuade, to contract, and the like. Austin calls such uses of language performatives and suggests that it is often more useful to ask what a speaker is trying to do in saying something than what he or she means by it. While I don’t try to apply Austin’s thinking here in any exact way, I do think of myself as working in his mode—as trying to show how to do things with texts, to shift our talk about writing away from the fixed and Introduction 3 static language of thesis and structure and toward a more dynamic J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with vocabulary of action, gesture, and Words, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, MA: response. You move in tandem with Harvard University Press, 1962). What I find of particular interest or in response to others, as part of to my work here is a moment, near a game or dance or performance or the very end of his lectures, when conversation—sometimes toward Austin offers a short list of what a goal and sometimes just to keep he calls “expositive” verbs—those that are used in “the expoundthe ball in play or the talk going, ing of views, the conducting of sometimes to win and sometimes to arguments, and the clarifying of contribute to the work of a group. I usages and references”—in effect, hope in this book to describe intelbeginning to outline his own set of “moves” for academic writing (see lectual writing as such a fluid and pp. 161ë63). social activity and to offer you some strategies, some moves as a writer, for participating in it. To do so, I draw on my experiences over the last twenty years as a writer and teacher of academic writing. And so, while this book is filled with examples of intellectuals at work with texts, they are examples that perhaps, in the end, tell as much about my own tastes, training, and values as anything else. That is to say, in this book I use my own ways of responding to and working with texts, my own habits of reading and writing, as representative of what other academics and intellectuals do. The drawback of such an approach, I suspect, is not that it is likely to be idiosyncratic but the reverse—that I may end up simply rehashing the common sense, the accepted practices, of a particular group of writers. But that is also, in a way, my goal: to show you some of the moves that academics routinely make with texts, to articulate part of “what goes without saying” about such work. Intertexts The Structure of This Book Each of the chapters in this book centers on a particular rewriting move: coming to terms, forwarding, countering, taking an approach, and revising. But these five moves do not by any means compose a fixed sequence for writing a critical essay. On the contrary, I am sure that as you work on different pieces, you will find yourself using these moves in varying ways and 4 Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts for shifting reasons—sometimes making several moves almost at once and other times focusing on a particular use of a text, sometimes making sustained use of a certain move and other times not employing it at all. I have ordered the chapters of this book, however, to suggest a kind of ethics of academic writing, a sense that intellectual work both starts and ends in acknowledging the strengths of other perspectives. And so I begin with what might be called the generous aspects of working with texts before turning to more critical forms of rewriting. In chapter 1, I suggest some strategies for coming to terms with complex texts, for re-presenting the work of others in ways that are both fair to them and useful to your own aims in writing. In a sense, this is rewriting in its clearest form. For as soon as you begin to say what you think a text is “about” you are involved in rewriting it, in translating its language into your own. But how do you offer the gist of an ambitious, complex, and perhaps quite long text in the space of a few paragraphs or sentences? How do you select certain phrases or ideas for emphasis? When do you quote and when do you paraphrase? For while the point of academic writing is never merely to explain what someone else has said, to respond to others you need also to offer an accurate account of their work, one that respects its strengths as well as notes its limits. Effective use begins in generous understanding. In chapter 2, I look more closely at such questions of use—specifically, at strategies for forwarding the projects of others. I borrow the term forward from the language of email because I think it describes better than respond what writers most often actually do with other texts. For outside of a few situations (teaching, editing, personal letters), readers seldom respond directly to a writer with comments on his or her text (“Dear Mr. Shakespeare . . .”). They are instead more likely to forward their thoughts about that text for a group of other readers—the teachers and students in a course, perhaps, or the readers of a journal or magazine or website—much as email users often resend posts that they think will interest certain friends and colleagues, usually with a set of carats (>) or a vertical line marking off the original text from their own comments. Anyone who has participated in a listserv knows how complicated and layered such posts can grow, as members insert remarks and delete passages before reforwarding a post back to the group, often resulting in a palimpsest of comments upon comments Introduction 5 upon comments upon an original post. While I don’t want to push this analogy too far, I do want to hold onto the idea of academic writing as involving this sort of ongoing recirculation of texts. As I use the term, then, a writer forwards the views of another when he or she takes terms and concepts from one text and applies them to a reading of other texts or situations. The most important questions to ask a writer at such points often have less to do with the text being read than with the uses being made of it. In coming to terms with a text, your focus lies on understanding and representing its argument. In forwarding a text, you seek to extend the range and power of its ideas and phrasings. In this sense, the first two chapters sketch out ways of reading with an author, of rewriting as building upon the work of others. Chapter 3 offers a mirror image of this emphasis, suggesting ways of reading against the grain of a text, of rewriting as a way of countering ideas and phrasings that strike you as somehow mistaken, troubling, or incomplete. I don’t explore here the (limited) dynamics of pro-and-con debates, of writing whose aim is to simply to prove why someone else is foolish or wrong. For such work aims not at rewriting but erasure. Instead, I look at some of the ways you can develop what you have to say as a writer by thinking through the limits and problems of other views and texts. Such work involves more than shouting down an opponent or finding ways of discounting her or his arguments; an effective counterstatement must attend closely to the strengths of the position it is responding to, and thus in many ways depends on representing that position clearly and fairly in order to make full sense. The characteristic stance of the counterstatement is “ Yes, but . . .”. This sort of rewriting—in which a writer aims less to refute or negate than to rethink or qualify—seems to me one of the key moves of intellectual discourse. Projects Identifying Writerly Moves See if you can locate texts that offer examples of the first three rewriting moves that I describe here: coming to terms, forwarding and countering. (You may find a single text that offers examples of two or more of these moves.) Mark those 6 Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts moments in the text where you see the writer making these moves, and be ready to talk about what you see him or her as doing. You may also want to see if you can find instances of writers making moves with other texts that my terms don’t seem to describe very well. What other terms might you offer in their place? I then turn in chapter 4 to a form of rewriting that is at once generous and critical, in which you adopt, extend, and rework the driving questions and concerns of another writer. In taking an approach, you do not merely make use of a particular insight or concept from another writer (as in forwarding) but draw on his or her distinctive style or mode of working. This form of rewriting often involves applying a theory or method of analysis advanced by another writer to a new set of issues or texts. But you can also build on the insights of another writer, ask the sort of questions she might ask, draw on her characteristic uses of words and ideas, adapt her style of thought and writing to the demands of your own project—in ways that are at once more subtle and powerful. In this chapter I offer some strategies for working assertively in the mode of another writer, of taking an approach and making it your own. Coming to terms, forwarding, countering, and taking an approach describe four ways of rewriting the work of others. In chapter 5 I suggest that you can also make use of these four moves in returning to and rewriting your own work-in-progress—a move that teachers of writing have for some time called revising. But while there has been much talk about the importance of revision, there has been little substantive advice on how to do it. Scholars like Peter Elbow and Donald Murray have offered excellent advice on drafting, on moving from nothing to something, getting words onto a page or screen. Others like Joseph Williams and Richard Lanham have written wonderful books on editing for style and clarity. But their focus has centered on reworking the form of sentences and paragraphs. Much less has been said about how to develop and revise a line of thinking over a series of drafts. That is what I try to offer in the last chapter of this book—an Introduction 7 approach to revising that asks you to question and rework your own Peter Elbow, Writing with Power, writing much as you might do with 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford Univerthe texts of others. How might you sity Press, 1998). Donald Murray, A Writer Teaches summarize your own draft, come Writing, 2nd ed. (Boston: Heinle, to terms with what you have to say 2003). in it? How do you define your own Joseph Williams, Style: Ten Lesproject in relation to those of the sons in Clarity and Grace, 7th ed. (New York: Longman, 2002). texts you are discussing? At what Richard Lanham, Revising Prose, moments in your text do you most 4th ed. (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, clearly articulate your own line of 1999). thinking? How might you extend or forward this line? How might you qualify or even counter it? In posing such questions, I hope to sketch a view of revising as a systematic practice, a consistent set of moves that you can apply to your own writing-in-progress. As you will have noted by now, I have also interspersed two sorts of notes throughout my text. The boxes marked Intertexts refer you to the reading that underlies this book—both by providing bibliographic information about the texts I use as examples and by acknowledging those writers and colleagues who have helped me formulate my ideas about writing. The boxes marked Projects gesture toward some of the uses I imagine that you might make of this book, toward some possible ways of taking my approach and forwarding or countering it for your own purposes. What appears in these two sets of boxes would usually be found in the notes, appendices, or bibliographies of other books—that is, buried at the bottom of their pages or stuffed near their back covers. But since my aim here is to illustrate how academic writers reuse and respond to other texts, I thought it would be useful to make the interplay of texts that animates this book a visible part of its pages. What you won’t find in the Projects boxes are conventional essay assignments. That’s because I hope that this book will be used in a course in which you are already involved in reading and writing responses to other texts—to academic books and articles, fiction, movies, essays, plays, and the like. My aim is not to replace that sort of work with this book but to help you do it. Indeed, it seems to me that much as a piece of writing always Intertexts 8 Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts needs to be about something, so, too, a writing course needs a subject, to be centered on some substantive issue or question—on the role of media in society, for instance, or the nature of work, or theories of schooling, or any of a thousand other complex and open issues that a group of writers can explore together. A book like this cannot provide such a subject or focus. Similarly, if a writing class is going to function as a class, this means that its members need to share and discuss the work that they are all doing as writers. Some readers have ...
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WRTG 101Midterm Writing and Fighting, Prof. KidderPage 1 of 8

Writing and Fighting Mid-Term
Due: Sunday, March17, 2017at Midnight

Part 1. 10 short answer questions about readings and multimedia. Please try to write
between 1-3 sentences for each. (10 points)
1. Even though they are actually square, why are boxing spaces called ‘rings’
One reason why boxing rings are called rings is because in the old times fighting was
done in a roughly drawn circle on the ground. This made the enclosed round circles
where fights were taking place called rings. As much as boxing fights are currently
conducted in square-shaped areas, the areas are still called rings.
2. What text is considered the earliest written record of prize fighting and who
wrote it? *Bonus (+0.5): What was the prize for the winner?
The match between Christopher Monck and Duke of Albemarle is the first prize match
recorded which took place in Britain. Christopher Monck won the match.
3. from Joseph Harris’ Rewriting, what does it mean to forward a text? Please
describe the three main types of forwarding.
Forwarding a text means taking somebody’s piece of work such as writing and pushes it
forward to mean or say something that brings one to talk or write.
The first step of forwarding is illustration. It is when a writer uses scenes, incidents and
stories from another text to make or illustrate a point. Authorizing is the second step. In
this step, a writer invokes the expertise or status of another writer to support his or her
thinking. Lastly, borrowing is when a writer draws on the terms and concepts from other
authors to think through his or her own subjects.
4. Also citing Rewriting, what does it mean to counter a text?

WRTG 101Midterm Writing and Fighting, Prof. KidderPage 2 of 8

Countering is to speak or act in the opposition of the rewriting situation or trying to
always view the opposite side of the paragraphs or sentences in a text. Countering also
suggests way s of reading against the grain of a text, of rewriting and paraphrasing as a
way of countering ideas.
5. P...

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Tutor went the extra mile to help me with this essay. Citations were a bit shaky but I appreciated how well he handled APA styles and how ok he was to change them even though I didnt specify. Got a B+ which is believable and acceptable.

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