Ways of Reading and Jane Tompkins

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Ways of Reading and Jane Tompkins

In the book, Ways of Reading, the authors Bartholomae and Petrosky outline what they describe as a "strong reader". They characterize the attributes that collectively contribute to this title and then talk about the relations between a strong reader and a strong writer. The perspectives that Bartholomae and Petrosky discuss on ideas and textual analysis are very interesting and in point of fact remind me of the thought process of which I use when analyzing a reading.

" Strong readers often read critically, weighing, for example, an author claims and interpretations against evidence-evidence provided by the author in the text, evidence drawn from other sources, or the evidence that is assumed to be part of a reader's own knowledge and experience."(p.12)

The easy way to read a text is to observe the general plot and to formulate ideas about the text through a first reading. A strong reader cannot only observe a reading; they can analyze the text and formulate an opinion through not only their own perspective and opinion, but through utilizing their own ideas as well as those of the authors and societies'. Reading Jane Tompkins's Indians, we find that the "strong reader" description is quickly applicable.

In Tompkins's essay, the reader is fed the façade that Tompkins's is writing on the relations between the Puritans first entering this country and the Native Americans already residing there. Her introduction to this paper is a personal reflection of a memory she has retained since her childhood. The reason for writing this essay she explains, is to prepare for a course she was to be teaching. The essay appears to be that of exceptional quality. Not only does she analyze the sources o...

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...eading and studying the definitions set forth by Bartholomae and Petrosky, not only does the reader categorize Tompkins as an effectively strong reader, the readers see two other main points. The first point is that Tompkins's strong writing ability can be directly linked to her ability to read "strongly" based on the ideas of Bartholomae and Petrosky. The final point noticed, was that without either the introduction to Ways of Reading or Indians, either reading would possibly lose validity. Each work studied in this duo, appears to aid the others' ideas and arguments. The analysis and perspectives utilized in Indians are conveyed through the processes described in the introduction to Ways of Reading. Vice versa, the arguments made toward the makeup of a "strong reader" would not have been feasibly possible to illustrate without examples such as Jane Tompkins essay.
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