Richard Dawkins loses the argument, while Neil deGrasse Tyson persuades…

May12

One of the questions that comes up with CCSS-ELA writing is,  “What the heck is ‘argumentative’ writing, and is that just a new buzz-word for persuasive writing?” We’re assured that NO, it is not the same thing, and as with reading, will require that one sticks to the facts because (according to some) no one cares what students think. A perfect examplar of this can be found in this succint piece comparing the two styles of writing that was posted on Twitter, Persuasive vs. Argumentative Writing (via Caitlin Tucker), and reminded me of everything that makes these new standards so annoying. The piece perfectly captures the patronizing tone of CCSS, and the attitude that we know best, and the best is…well crap. It just reeks of all the psuedo-objectivity that abounds in CCSS-ELA. This was one of my favorite parts:

Audience of argumentative writing:
Doesn’t need an audience to convince. The writer is
content with simply putting it out there

Because it echoes something Neil deGrasse Tyson says here:

Which leads to my conclusion/title…

5 Comments to

“Richard Dawkins loses the argument, while Neil deGrasse Tyson persuades…”

  1. May 14th, 2014 at 4:38 am      Reply Tom Hoffman Says:

    It would really be sufficient if they’d just say “These standards are about academic writing, and your job is not to *persuade* your teacher or professor, but to write an academic argument based on logic, reason and evidence.”


    • May 14th, 2014 at 7:53 pm      Reply alicemercer Says:

      That’s the problem, we’re still just having students writing for an audience of one, their teachers. According to this, they aren’t even writing for ANY audience, they are just supposed to be “throwing it out there”, a phrase that I can’t stand and an idea with little merit.


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