HOF: How to Straighten Out a Thesis–Less Hand, More Moon

Here is the thesis statement of his paper about “Pride and Prejudice”. He examines Darcy’s letter to Daisy (yes, he calls Lizzy Bennet “Daisy” for no known reason):

“Darcy’s character, simply put, is a still an a**hole , but an a**hole with who is trying to overcome his faults .”

Can anyone give me any suggestions as to what to say to him? My impulse is to go all prim and school-marmish on him, but perhaps another approach might work.

Thank you.

My own approach would be a bit different from what’s been suggested here. I’m less inclined to think that appealing to his sense of future professionalism would really be a successful motivator.

Jan van Eyck hands w bookInstead, I’d call him out on the subtext of what he’s doing:

“There is an old Buddhist quote which, when adapted to teaching (as often happens), goes something like this: The best teachers point to the moon and say, ‘Look! See the moon.’ The less-good teachers do the same, but say, ‘Look! See my hand, pointing at the moon.’ Those teachers are more interested in students seeing *them* rather than the moon: they instruct, yes, but we are always aware that they are interested in showing students their cleverness first, and the moon second. When you use language like ‘Darcy is still an a**hole,’ you are drawing the reader’s attention to you, not to the text. This is not something to aspire to in teaching, and definitely not something to aspire to in papers. Always show us less hand, more moon; less [studentlastname], more Austen.”

from voxprincipalis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge