e_511 - A Guide to The Curious Researcher Ballenger, Bruce....

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A Guide to The Curious Researcher Ballenger, Bruce. The Curious Researcher. 6 th ed. New York: Longman, 2009. Overview: Whereas Writing Arguments takes a subject-centered approach to teaching composition, The Curious Researcher takes a student-centered approach. Ballenger believes that the best way to introduce students to academic writing is to “place[] the writer at the center of the discourse. As a result, he cannot avoid his role as the main agent of the inquiry nor can he escape the question of his own authority in the conversation” (xxi). Ballenger’s text is concerned with “teaching the spirit of inquiry” (xx). In other words, he wants to teach student how to learn and discover interesting things through research by asking appropriate questions. Ballenger follows through with this student-centered pedagogy throughout the book. This book is geared for the research essay, “a potentially more subjective, less formal, often more exploratory mode that the formal argumentative research paper” (xxi). To help students through writing a research essay, Ballenger takes a five-step approach. Sections: The introduction explains the purpose and layout of the book, provides some basic information about research papers, and debunks some myths about academic writing. Chapter 1 begins by telling students that it is important that they are genuinely interested in their topic; if they are bored with it, then their paper is going to be boring. For this reason, students must choose their topic carefully. Ballenger gives some tips about choosing a topic and determining if it is “researchable.” The rest of the chapter is about developing a working knowledge of the topic and finding the question the paper will
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e_511 - A Guide to The Curious Researcher Ballenger, Bruce....

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