Composition theorists Anthony Bartholomae and Peter Petrosky make this claim: “Reading involves a fair measure of push and shove. You make your mark on a book and it makes its mark on you. Reading is not simply a matter of hanging back and waiting for a piece, or its author, to tell you what the writing has to say. . . .the pages before you will begin to speak only when the authors are silent and you begin to speak in their place” (1). This quotation should evoke for you many of the same points made by DiYanni in 50 Great Essays about “active reading.”
Reflecting on your experience reading one of the assigned essays this term, describe how you implemented active reading. How did you “make your mark” on this reading, and, in turn, what “mark” did the reading make on you? In other words, how did this particular reading change your perspective, make you think differently, read differently? And, importantly, how did your identity and perspective as a reader influence your interpretation of the piece?
This question focuses on a specific reading from this term—Gloria Anzaldúa’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” In this essay, Anzaldúa writes from a very specific cultural and historical point-of-view. Upon first reading this essay, you may have struggled to identify with the particulars of her experience. Pointing to specific moments in the text to support your answer, discuss the ways that Anzaldúa’s story has—and does not have—universal application. In other words, discuss how her story is or is not your story. Then, relate this analysis to your own work as a writer. How do you as a writer make your experience relatable and important to your audience? How do the principles rhetorical analysis and persuasion factor into this process?