After reading Mary Lamb's work "Teaching Nonfiction through Rhetorical Reading" I decided to do a bit of research into one of the articles that she mentioned in her work. I chose to look at the article "R We D8ting",written by Sandra Barron, that she mentioned in her writing. I decided to take a look at this article that she used as an example in her text, because I was a bit unclear on what exactly she meant by having students "focus on the context of the material and the aims of the writer". After reading the article this statement made much more sense, and it showed that it would make student's gauge the tone of the writer as well as attempt to find the aim of the writer while moving through the text. This article "R We D8ting" would be great for teaching this process, because it is short and interesting. As stated in Lamb's writing it is important to use nonfiction that is relevant and interesting to students in order to get them to actually engage in their reading. This article by Barron accomplishes just that, and discusses the dangers of technology to our social world. In short summary the article is written as a real life experience where a woman meets a man at a bar, and they exchange numbers to possibly start going on dates. The man is very interested in the woman, and is persistent on texting her to let her know that he is interested. After some time of communicating through text there starts to be confusion in some messages, because the two are not speaking face to face. Eventually this confusion ends up making both of them upset at one another, and when they actually meet in person they get in a fight over the text messages. They don't even make it to the first date, because of all of this confusion. This is a great piece of nonfiction for students to read, because it makes them work through the text. The article is written so that the reader must continue to read the nonfiction in order to find out the overall message that the author is trying to convey. The message is finally conveyed at the conclusion of the article, but the reader is able to infer what may happen at the conclusion through the authors tone. Through reading this article by Barron, and reading Lamb's text I have been convinced that teaching rhetorical reading can be an effective method of teaching nonfiction. This method allows for students to pick through details to begin to make conclusions, and asks them to read the authors aim in their writing as they move along the text. If I were to teach this method I would use an article like "R We D8ting", because it is relevant to students lives. This article teaches a message, and gets students into reading nonfiction even though they may not realize it. This is a great method, and I believe that it would absolutely work as an introduction tool to nonfiction to get students hooked on this particular genre.
- Taylor King