Revolution Lullabye

February 17, 2008

Arrington, Phillip and Shirley K Rose. “Prologues to What Is Possible: Introductions as Metadiscourse.”

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Arrington, Phillip and Shirley K Rose. “Prologues to What Is Possible: Introductions as Metadiscourse.” CCC 38:3 (Oct 1987): 306-318.

Introductions are both text about text, or metadiscourse, and text about content, and contemporary composition textbooks do not do an adequate job teaching students about this dual role of introductions. Arrington and Rose use Aristotle’s description of the purpose of introductions, situating the text in a greater context and identifying the audience and speaker, and Grice’s maxims to analyze four student-written introductions. One of the main problems for students is that the formulas they are given for writing introductions do not help them balance writing for both the teacher and a larger audience, and teachers should show students how to understand the constraints and contexts of the writing situations they will encounter.

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