Expectations: Teaching Writing from the Reader's Perspective by George GopenExpectations: Teaching Writing from the Reader's Perspective by George Gopen

Expectations: Teaching Writing from the Reader's Perspective

byGeorge Gopen

Paperback | January 7, 2004

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By exploring and explaining the perceptive patterns that readers of English follow in their interpretive process, this rhetoric approaches the task of teaching writing from the perspective of readers. As a result, students learn how to write with conscious knowledge of reader's expectations. Gopen Expect SMP 3.16.03 rev.doc Page 1 of 1

Title:Expectations: Teaching Writing from the Reader's PerspectiveFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8.95 × 5.95 × 1.2 inPublished:January 7, 2004Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205296173

ISBN - 13:9780205296170

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Table of Contents


1. The Problems of Interpretation and the Efficacy of Reader Expectation Theory.

2. Action and Agency.

Single Actions.

A String of Actions.


A Few Pedagogical Hints Reviewed.

3. Subject-Verb-Complement Separations.

4. Beginnings and Endings: The Topic and Stress Positions.

Structure, Substance, Context, and Some Helpful Boxes.

Whose Story?

The Topic Position.

The Stress Position.

5. Using Topic/Stress to Control Development Within the Paragraph.

Overcoming Splat Prose.

Style and the Consistency of Choice.

Using Topic/Stress to Solve Typical Student Writing Problems.

The Multiple Uses of the Stress Position.

Topic Changing and Topic Stringing.

Exerting Control Over Revision Through Topic Stringing.

Seeking Control Over Reader Response.

The Toll Booth Syndrome.

6. Paragraphs: Issues, Points, and Purposes.

Procrustean Problems in Teaching the Paragraph.



Point Placement and Paragraph Types.

A Typology of Paragraphs?


The Writer's Power to Shape and Change Reader Expectations Concerning Paragraph Structure.

Pointless Paragraphs.

Connections Between Paragraphs.

A Note on Whole Documents.


7. Learning and Teaching the Reader Expectation Approach.

Learning to Teach Writing from the Perspective of Reader Expectations.

Supplementary Techniques and Related Concerns.

The Most Common Student Objections to REA.

An Example.

8. “I Knew That.”

Two Typical Responses.

Herbert Spencer's “Philosophy of Style.”

Where Are the Linguists When We Need Them?

The Prague School of Linguistics and Functional Sentence Perspective.

Thrusts and Parries.


Appendix A. A Structural Definition of Rhetoric.

Appendix B. A Backwards Look at Error Avoidance.

Appendix C. Reader/Listener Expectations from the Past.

Appendix D. Bibliography of Works Cited.