n Education as Change - Teaching the argumentative essay : what's identity got to do with it?

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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Traditionally, personal and impersonal writing have been treated as being located at opposite ends of the objective / subjective spectrum in school and university based writing courses. However, there is a growing recognition that writers' identities play a significant role in text production, regardless of the genre being produced. In this paper I argue against a rigid divide between personal and impersonal writing and show how writing an argumentative essay can be deeply personal and tap identity issues in powerful ways. I develop this argument by examining the response of a multicultural group of students in a South African context to a local and controversial issue that raged in the South African media in 1999 and 2001.

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