Diane Hostetler | Tom Kerns | Brian Saunders

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Types of Seminar Papers




l. The self-evident experience: What every reader sees

a. Book report or expanded table of contents-describing what the book is about; listing some of the book's themes or topics

2. The private experience: Reporting on one's personal experience with the book

a. Silencing the text: The book had nothing interesting to say. I couldn't get into it. Analysis from only first few pages

b. Opinion poll: I liked this book; it was readable, it was interesting

c. Book review: It was well written, clear, or confusing for me.

d. Generalized comparison or contrast: it reminds me of another book; it
presents a view different than many authors.

e. Speculation: I wishes the author would have... What's missing is... I wonder
if this had been written for... The author probably was trying to...

3. The Public Experience: Selecting specifics from your reading which will help others see what you have seen or challenge them to engage the text at a more complex level.

a. What is the author saying: A list of selected passages (random or connected to a specific theme) for seminar to explore: On page 23 the authors says ... Another interesting passage is on page 84.

b. What does the author mean: Defining or interpreting what specific passages mean and why they are significant. Or asking for clarification: "What did she mean on page 35 when she said 'God was more real to them than the Tsar'?"

c. Selected themes: Among the important questions explored are.. the role of midwives on page 33 and 68; peasant idea of "limited good." See pages 73 and
125. What the author seems to be saying here is...

d. Mini synthesis concentrating on one specific theme: The picture of peasants presented in this book is far different than a romanticized notions of the noble peasants depicted in last week's reading. The romanticized image there which included... contrasts sharply with the examples given here page 33 and 85.

- Jim Hamish, North Seattle Community College

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© Diane Hostetler, Tom Kerns, Brian Saunders