it all comes down to . . . time

“I do not feel as though my letter had enough backing to it in order to truly change a person’s mind or outlook…if I had more time to gather information about the paper,
then these things could have been accomplished.”
~ Marie

I have been grading student’s rewrites of an assignment called Adding to the Conversation. Each student selected an issue of concern, identified a target audience (with the power to actually DO something), and attempted to persuade this audience of a certain strategy. While all of the students are passionate about their topics, few have done the necessary research to present themselves as credible experts. Their ethos is weak. ­čÖü Most of them rely on pathos, or on logic (logos) that assumes the main points of their argument are obvious and undebatable.
I resemble this. :-/ Critical thinking means learning to recognize and question one’s own assumptions in addition to doubting the assumptions of those who disagree or have a different understanding.
What is neat about the second and third drafts of these students’ essays is the way their ideas come more clearly into view. Even if the writing isn’t yet at a level where it might sway someone with an open mind, you can see the sharp awareness and insight these young adults have about the world in which we live. I wish I could have them for another semester! (As if they are a kind of property. (She sighs.)

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