Russ raises an interesting point, too:
> Jamie raises an interesting point . . .
> > Though I, as noted, have never seen (as student,
> teacher or
> > citizen-reader) the famous 5-para essay,
> I have, but _only_ in the context of writing
> courses. I've
> never seen one in the wild (but on the other hand, I
> remember ever seeing any of the other academic essay
> formats we
> teach (or use for teaching) in the wild, either.
But . . . I'm not sure why this needs to be posed as a
problem, exactly. The 5pe is just a structure, and we
don't mind other structures; we don't say that the
sonnet poses a problem for poetry, for instance.
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for a
writer to fall back on the 5pe. It's not always the
appropriate form, to be sure; but especially when
someone is struggling with content or with new and
difficult ideas, starting with that form (and, with
any luck, discovering its limitations) may not be so
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