For practically the entire essay, Wallace takes a topical approach and assumes that his audience has a very rudimentary understanding of the lobster.
He describes the attractions at the event, and using long, run on sentences, delves into the overwhelming variety of lobster dishes that one can expect to see at the festival.
Likewise, I have found that explaining how to handle and select evidence can be managed through dialogue that I model and repeat.
I can ask them questions and I can give them a format to follow, until they earn confidence in all of these areas, at which point I expect them to break the ritual and find more creative ways to engage with their evidence or write their thesis, while still maintaining the connections that are required in academic writing.
Like the readers of Wallace’s essay, my students have an opportunity to reflect on their organizational choices through the use of Trends within Voyant Tools.
This specific tool leads me to develop an extra credit analysis assignment and the combination of Trends and Cirrus leads me to develop a peer review assignment.The organizational process seems to be the one that I, personally, go back to even after I am finished writing, just to make sure the paper is as effective as possible.You may remember, from the Voyant Tools: Close Reading Blog, that my 10am College Writing II class created a Voyant Tools analysis on David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster”. “Trends” is the line-graph tool on the top right of the analysis.This is literally my advice in every other segment of the rubric (except MLA formatting, that is what it is).Organization, however, is unique in that only the author knows what he wants to prove and the bank of evidence he has in his corner.Still, while they grow as writers, these are things I can give them a recipe for, in the beginning.What I struggle with finding the words to prescribe, however, is organization.If he organizes his paper in a way that helps me progress from where I am standing all the way through to his conclusion, then the paper is organized appropriately.Sometimes, if he reverses the order, I become more convinced earlier.Wallace’s choice, to hold his tongue about the pain involved in lobster preparation until his readers are invested in his article, is a rhetorical one.By organizing his article to draw in his readers, share with them his observation, then let his observation lead to his argument, Wallace produces an effective article; one we use to teach rhetorical strategies in Universities.