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What are the moves that an academic writer makes? How does writing as an intellectual change the way we work from sources? In Rewriting, a textbook for the undergraduate classroom, Joseph Harris draws the college writing student away from static ideas of thesis, support, and structure, and toward a more mature and dynamic understanding. Harris wants college writers to think of intellectual writing as an adaptive and social activity, and he offers them a clear set of strategies—a set of moves—for participating in it.read more
I have read very many terrible books on how to write. To my surprise, this is not one of them. This book explains the concepts of academic writing in a surprisingly digestible fashion-- focusing not on formatting or citations or anything pedantic like that, but the intellectual moves that academic writing requires. How do we join in on the "conversation" that is academic discourse? How do we make use of the ideas of others in our own work? How do we develop our own thoughts? If the book has a flaw, it is that it seems to be straddling two audiences: as a graduate student, I already do most of the things it describes, so I was mostly appreciative of the fact that it named and codified them, but when I tried it in class, the book was a little above my beginning undergraduates, who are not quite used to this way of thinking and writing. Harris is generally very good at providing examples of what he is describing, which helps a lot, but this creates a letdown in the chapter on revision, where the examples are sparse.read more
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