Well, Marcy, come the spring and the crick don't rise, I _will_
be at Inkshed, and I hope we all (except Marcy) get to talk
about this. If anybody hasn't read my piece in the last Inkshed
Newsletter about this (shame on you), have a look. And have a
look, maybe, even if you did read it, because it may read a
little differently in the current context. It's here:
What Marcy says is worth considering, I think.
> . . . but I have to ask: What's "right" in this context? We've gone
> around and around about how the term paper - school writing - is an empty
> exercise, devoid of real purpose and audience. So what's the loss?
> I think I'd make the argument that the loss may be the experience students
> get with synthesizing different authors' arguments, and making an argument
> of their own. But there are other ways to do this besides the term paper.
Yep yep yep. Well, and I'd add that another part of "the loss"
may be the chance to acquire the ability and disposition to
include other people's language in your own.
But I don't think this is mainly true in "content-heavy
disciplines." And the conventional term paper is, in fact, a
pretty poor way to give folks this experience in any discipline.
St. Thomas University
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