Revolution Lullabye

May 26, 2009

Berggren, Do Thesis Statements Short-Circuit Originality in Students’ Writing

Berggren, Anne. “Do Thesis Statements Short-Circuit Originality in Students’ Writing?” In Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism. Eds. Eisner and Vicinus. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2008. 53-63.

Berggren outlines three problems with overreliance on thesis-driven essays: 1. students go into autopilot and use the genre without thinking critically about it or about other options 2. papers are transformed into arguments that must be provable, simple enough to support without complex, open-ended questioning 3. thesis-driven papers are not a necessary developmental writing phase that students must go through in order to write other things. Instructors and teachers should assign more reflective and original writing tasks to students.


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