Truth in Society

13 September 1994

Prompt #2

In Class This Afternoon

During the next half hour or so, read what at least four other people wrote -- more, if you have time. As you read, watch for ideas or statements or paragraphs that seem particularly interesting, that you'd like to know more about, or which just strike you in any way. When you find something, put a mark in the margin (the way we've done here). If someone's already marked it, and you agree that the passage is worth noting, add a second mark (as we've done here). These marks will be used as a guide for transcribing passages and printing them for everyone to read, so mark enough of the text that it will be clear whatit means to someone who doesn't have the rest of the text.

Finally, for each one you read, add, at the end of the writer's original text, at least one question identifying something else the writer could say that would help you understand more fully what she believes and how she came to believe it. Initial or sign your question(s), so that others will be able to tell how many different people have read the piece.

As you read, if you pick up a piece that already has five or six questioners' initials, look for another, which fewer people have read; it's best if we make sure everyone's paper has at least four readers.

If someone has already asked the question you were going to ask, you should try to think of another one. We're going to be using these questions to explore people's beliefs, so the more different questions we can generate the better. Take the time you need to think about the piece and generate questions you'd actually like the answers to, and which might help the author to explain better or more completely what she believes and why. If there really isn't anything different you can ask than has already been asked by someone else, try to elaborate, add to, focus or clarify a question someone else has already asked.

When everyone's had a chance to read and write questions on at least four of the documents, we'll stop the reading and writing and give you a chance to get your own text back.

Now, read the questions and spend a half hour or so answering whichever questions you think are important and useful, and which you can answer. As before, write as long as you can, without worrying about form. Just make sure it's legible.

We'll be using these texts as one of the bases for beginning our work on Thursday, so leave them in the inkshed box.

When we're finished with this, we'll take a break, and then come back to the issues we began to talk about this morning, beginning with a look at the passages that were marked as important from what you wrote first thing this morning about your expectations and hopes and fears regarding the course.

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