Reading Guide For Penrose And Gesiler

Reading Guide for: Penrose, Ann M. and Cheryl Geisler “Reading and Writing without Authority.” College Composition and Communication 45.4 (1994):505-520.

The first pages 505-507 showcase two paragraphs on the same topic, one written by Janet and one written by Roger. It then explains what is at the heart of the differences in the paragraphs.
Read both paragraphs aloud. Which do you like better. Does one sound more authoritative to you?

The section titled Observing the Effects of Authority describes the experiment and lists the main findings. Read the beginning, but then you can skip/skim pages 508-514. We’ll talk about the findings in class.

The section titled Reading and Writing Without Authority on page 514-516 focuses on Janet and why she struggles to take an authoritative stance in her writing.
List what prevents her from writing with authority? Do you share Janet’s view of writing? What about this section reminds you of Haas and Flowers (the first academic article we read this semester).

The last section, Teaching Towards Authority, talks about what might and might not help Janet approach her sources and her writing with more authority.
What is “domain knowledge” (the article defines it for you) and why won’t increasing it solve Janet’s problem? What might help? Do any of your teachers encourage you to disagree with readings and texts?

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