From now to the end of of the semester, I am working on my research paper for writing–the map class. This would be the prostitute paper.
So….(my teacher said never start a sentence with so) my professor is doing a really great job of walking us students through the writing process. Today she brought in this booklet of some of the top essays from the entire freshman class last year, and she has us read and analyze an essay on the food choices of the homeless.
It was funny, because most of my class complained that this girl’s topic was irrelevant. It was. I mean, it was interesting, but, as one kid said (in one of those joking but kinda serious ways) he’d rather read about maps:)
And, the funny thing was, that my professor agreed. She didn’t say she agreed, but she had a hard time defending this poor paper.
She finally said that if you make is good argument, it doesn’t matter if the audience agrees with the relevance. And then she bashed anthropologists (that was the type of paper). See, this girl had this super long essay on why the homeless don’t eat yogurt, even when it is offered along with eggs and biscuits and stuff for free. And then, at the end of her essay, she wrote about her own food choices and she analyzed herself.
And my entire class was like, “What the heck?!?!”
And Baletti (professor) said that, yeah, anthropologists do that. They always have to recognize themselves in their own papers and acknowledge how they are also part of the model (or whatever) they are proposing. Oh, you should have been there. Her tone made it–she was basically saying that anthropologists love themselves and so they find a way to incorporate themselves into their own papers, and that in her opinion, it’s a little over the top.
And, then she talked about the claim of the paper. She said it was a really great claim, and that it was a good example of most scholarly writings. She then continued to point out how this girl never directly stated her claim, and that her claim was weak. This girls basically hedged around what she was going to say.
So, (hahaha-so) my teacher moved on to scholarly writers at large. She said that they generally make really weak claims and dance around the topic. She doesn’t like to do that, but its generally accepted by everyone.
She made me laugh in class today. Usually her opinions don’t shine through so much.