Intro And Chapter 1 of Rewritting

2 Oct

In the beginning of the chapter Harris talks about “three moves” that are needed in “coming to terms” with a text. In his words they are

“Define the project of the writer in your own terms”

“Note keywords or passages in the text”

“Asses the uses and limits of this approach”

When reading this chapter the understanding that I got from it was that “coming to terms”and “Defining the project of the writer in your own words”  meant to try and understand the point the author is making and really see it from their side. Also rap up all the main ideas that you want to talk about or summarize in your own words. Pretty much just be open minded like we talked about before. Try and include why and what the author was trying to say in their text. There was a quote in this section that mentioned this. “…to hazard a view about not only what someone has said but also what he was trying too accomplish by saying it.” (pg. 17 para.2)

The second move Harris mentioned was “Note keywords or passages in the text” and I felt like that it was saying exactly what the quote says, use quotes to not only show what another author said but to help make your opinion on the matter even more visible. Quote for your sake while keeping what the author said true. A quote that I found that sort of help me figure this out was on page 20 para.3 “Quote to illustrate your view of the text, to single out terms or passages that strike you in some way as interesting, troubling, ambiguous, or suggestive” This was what really stood out and helped me to understand what this move really meant.

The third and last move was “Assessing Uses and Limits” This move was explaining that using extremes such as good and evil, pro and con, or guilty or innocent should be used less because if these extremes are used they are most likely seen on TV. To make your writing seem more intelligent Harris suggests that we use “positive opposing terms” “…with words and values that don’t contradict each other yet still exist in some real and ongoing tension” (pg 25 para.2) What he means by that use terms that do not automatically go against each other but are different. Like in the piece he mentioned earlier “Stories and theories” Harris uses this as an example of positive opposing terms because neither are negative or contradict one another but they still have their differences at some point.

“Coming to Terms” was all about learning to become a more intellectual writer and using another authors writing to help you. It teaches all about how to summarize another author and how to pick the proper terms so when summarizing or even explaning a quote you do it the correct way.


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