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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
> can't 
> 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
bad.

Marcy

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Marcy Bauman
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"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race."
H. G. Wells (1866 - 1946)

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