Analyzing The Text Or Words Of Others

Decent Essays

Nine times out of ten, when asked to do writing in college, it involves source writing. A phenomenon of analyzing the text or words of others. The first chapter of Joseph Harris’, Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts, sets the stage for a method of exploring text and experiencing the thoughts behind an author’s words. This is referred to as Coming to Terms, and is in fact the title of Harris’ first chapter. The chapter acts as an advertisement for Harris’ technique, stressing the contradictions in writing about another’s piece, as well as, evoking further thought in the reader. Within these opening pages, Harris produces and develops a compelling notion of the inquiry of a source.
As a professor at the University of Delaware, Joseph Harris is motivated to help students become more active readers and “strive to be fair and self-reflective” (15) when reading a text. It is imperative, then, for him to write in a way that would deem understandable in the minds of students. To do so, Harris douses his piece with relatability. He begins by getting the reader comfortable, making him/her feel that he/she is about to read something that is not above them or too pretentious. It is common for students to think that reading is the mere road to absolute boredom. An antidote Harris finds is to begin with humor, acknowledging that he unsuccessfully clarified “a joke without seeming like a bore” (14). This type of self- diminishing humor, lets the reader feel at an equal playing field

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