Writing Better Essays - A Rhetorical Guide to Writing and Revision (Second International Edition) - David L. Rogers

Writing Better Essays - A Rhetorical Guide to Writing and Revision (Second International Edition) - David L. Rogers

Bridging through Reference

Writing Better Essays - A Rhetorical Guide to Writing and Revision (Second International Edition) - David L. Rogers

David L. Rogers [+-]
Kingston University, London
David L. Rogers is Emeritus Senior Fellow at Kingston University, London, having previously been Head of the School of Humanities at Kingston and Director of the Kingston Writing School. He taught English and American literature, essay writing, composition and grammar, rhetoric, creative writing and journalism in universities in the US and the UK for over thirty years and ran the annual Athens International Creative Writing Summer School in partnership with the British Council between 2012-2019.

Description

Chapter 5 concentrates on two key bridging devises that are often misused. The first involves the common pronoun, which, as a form of slant repetition or reference, refers directly to a previous noun and so includes the pronouns it/its, he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them, we/us/our. Of these pronouns only its, when confused with the appositive it’s for it is, typically presents a problem for inexperienced writers, and the chapter both explains the differences between the two uses and illustrates them. It then locates and identifies the type of individual bridging devices that appear in professionally written paragraphs before asking students to complete a related exercise. The second reference style bridging device that the chapter identifies involves this when used as a demonstrative pronoun the reference for which thus remains vague. To help students to avoid this common but almost always confusing mistake, the chapter strongly recommends that they always check their drafts for signs of it and transform its demonstrative pronoun this into a demonstrative adjective, which they must do by adding a word or phrase that clarifies the idea to which they had assumed their demonstrative pronoun referred. The chapter then explains and analyses four examples, two each of bad and good practice, before illustrating the advantages of always adding clarifying phrases to their vague pronouns by documenting the positive effect of a similar transformation made by a professional writer when revising a draft for publication. An exercise asks students to transform a vague referent in a sample paragraph before reading twenty examples of good practice by professionals. The chapter’s final exercise has them identify any instance when they have used this as a demonstrative pronoun in their developing draft or a previous essay and to transform the pronoun into an adjective by adding a clarifying phrase.

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Citation

Rogers, David. Bridging through Reference. Writing Better Essays - A Rhetorical Guide to Writing and Revision (Second International Edition). Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 156-182 Feb 2024. ISBN 9781781798348. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=36968. Date accessed: 21 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36968. Feb 2024

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