Pride Dagoberto Gilb Essay

Dagoberto Gilb is an American writer who writes extensively about the American Southwest.

Gilb was born in Los Angeles in 1950. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees. Gilb embarked on a career in construction, became a journeyman carpenter, and joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners in Los Angeles.

Background[edit]

Gilb was born to a mother from Mexico who came across the border illegally, while his father was born in Kentucky. Gilb's parents were raised in Los Angeles from a young age—his mother in downtown L.A., his father in Boyle Heights. Both spoke Spanish. The two divorced when he was very young, and he was raised by his mother. His father worked for 49 years in an industrial laundry, where he became the floor supervisor. His mother was a model in her early years, then became a dental assistant, until she remarried two more times.[1]

Gilb began working at thirteen as a sheet shaker, then found jobs as a janitor and a factory shipping clerk. After high school, he went to several community colleges, working full-time as a paper cutter and as a stockboy in a major department store. He finally transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara. He graduated in 1974 with a double major in Philosophy and Religious Studies, remaining there until he also received M.A. in Religious Studies in 1976.

From 1976-79 Gilb worked in many areas of the construction trades to make his living, as a laborer, stonemason, and carpenter. A new father, by 1979 he had joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, and he worked as a journeyman until 1992. Though he did all facets of carpentry work, his main employment was as class-A high-rise.

Writing career[edit]

In 1977, while completing a never-published novel, Gilb was working on a three-story addition to the museum at the University of Texas at El Paso when he learned of the writer Raymond Carver, who was teaching across the campus street and was only at the beginning of his national acclaim. Because of Carver's prominence, Gilb turned to short stories, and he began publishing in 1982. The first bound work of his own was a chapbook-sized collection, Winners on the Pass Line (1985), also the first by El Paso's Cinco Puntos Press. His first full book of stories (35 had been published in magazines by then) was The Magic of Blood (1993), with the University of New Mexico Press. The stories are populated by working men, Mexican American, who live in the Southwest. It won the 1994 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award, the Jesse Jones Texas Institute of Letters Award, and was a PEN Faulkner finalist.

More books followed, all published in New York by Grove Press: a novel, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña (1994), about a drifter living at a financial border as a resident of a YMCA on the El Paso border; a collection of short fiction, Woodcuts of Women (2001), stories of men obsessed with women; a collection of nonfiction essays, Gritos (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, collecting Gilb's nonfiction essays as a construction worker, a writer, a teacher, and a parent; an anthology, Hecho en Tejas (2006), winner of the PEN Southwest Book Award, now the canonical work of record for Mexican American literature in Texas; and the novel The Flowers (2008), an urban survival tale of a Chicano becoming a man in a city on the verge of a white-and-black race riot. Before the End, After the Beginning (2011) is his latest collection of short fiction. As an after effect of a stroke Gilb suffered in 2009, the book is a meditation on the transitory, on impermanence, on "unseen" people, themes and characters Gilb has always dwelled on, now heightened.

In Gritos, the collection of mostly autobiographical essays, Gilb locates both his testicles and his work in American letters, and by doing so, claims space for Chicanos in American life and culture. Gilb labels his narrative approach “first-person stupid,” but critics praise its candor, depth, and clarity (despite or maybe because of the author’s rejection of heavy-handed commentary).[1] The essays are parable-like: “fool stories” that express learned wisdom.

Gilb has also worked on a few movies and documentaries and spent several years writing commentaries which aired on the NPR show Fresh Air. In 1997, he accepted a job teaching in the MFA program at Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University. In September 2009, Gilb joined the faculty of the University of Houston–Victoria as a Writer-in-Residence and Executive Director of Centro Victoria: Center for Mexican American Literature and Culture.[2]

Awards[edit]

  • James D. Phelan Award, San Francisco Foundation, 1984
  • Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, Texas Institute of Letters, 1987
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1992
  • Whiting Award, 1993
  • PEN/Hemingway Award, 1994
  • PEN Faulkner Award, finalist, 1994
  • El Paso Writers' Hall of Fame, 1995
  • Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1995
  • National Book Critics Circle Award, finalist, 2003
  • Texas Book Festival Bookend Award, 2007
  • PEN Southwest Book Award, 2008

Books[edit]

  • Winners on the Pass Line and Other Stories, 1985
  • The Magic of Blood, 1993
  • The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña, 1994
  • Woodcuts of Women, 2001
  • Gritos, 2003
  • Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature, 2006
  • The Flowers, 2008
  • Before the End, After the Beginning, 2011

Selected works[edit]

  • "Down in the West Texas Town", Puerto del Sol, Spring 1982
  • "Where the Sun Don't Shine", The Threepenny Review, Fall 1983
  • "Look on the Bright Side", The Pushcart Prize XVII: Best of the Small Presses, 1992
  • "Poverty Is Always Starting Over", Fresh Air, July 26, 1994
  • "Northeast Direct", The Threepenny Review, Fall 1996; The Best American Essays, 1999
  • "María de Covina", The New Yorker, September 29, 1997
  • "Victoria", The Best American Essays, 1999
  • "I Knew She Was Beautiful", The New Yorker, March 13, 2000
  • "Work Is Good" Carpenter, September/October 2000
  • "Romero's Shirt", Still Wild, 2000
  • "Pride", The Texas Observer, May 24, 2001
  • "Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes", Harper's Magazine, June 2001
  • "Documenting the Undocumented", The Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2001
  • "About Tere Who Was in Palomas", Pushcart Prize Stories XXVI: Best of the Small Presses, 2001
  • "Sentimental for Steinbeck", The New York Times, March 18, 2002
  • "Spanish Guy", The New Yorker, April 22 & 29, 2002
  • "You Know Him by His Labors", The Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2004
  • "Me Macho, You Jane", The Barcelona Review, September–October 2004
  • "Willows Village", Harper's Magazine, September 2008
  • "please, thank you", Harper's Magazine, June 2010
  • "Uncle Rock", The PEN/O'Henry Prize Stories, 2012

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • "Dagoberto Gilb." Writers Directory, 24th ed. St. James Press, 2008.
  • "Dagoberto Gilb." Grove Press [2]

External links[edit]

Dagoberto Gilb at the 2011 Texas Book Festival.

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The character who opposes the interests of the protagonist.
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Repetition of a word in two different senses.
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The technique a writer or speaker uses in an argumentative text to address and answer objections, even though the audience has not had the opportunity to voice these objections.
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The repetition of words in successive clauses in reverse grammatical order.
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A person or character who makes a case for some controversial, even contentious, position.
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An elaborate statement justifying some controversial, even contentious, position.
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The direct address of an absent person or personified object as if he/she/it is able to reply.
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In a text, the reference to words, action, or beliefs of a person in authority as a means of supporting a claim, generalization, or conclusion.
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The appeal of a text to the feelings or interests of the audience.
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An argument developed by breaking the subject matter into its component parts.
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The omission of conjunctions between related clauses.
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One of the four perspectives that Aristotle explained could be used to generate material about any subject matter: greater or less, possible and impossible, past fact, and future fact.
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Within the planning act of the writing process, a technique used by a writer or speaker to generate many ideas, some of which he or she will later eliminate.
Ex: I brainstorm before history essays by writing down as many specific Exs as I can think of for the prompt.
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A test of reading ability that requires a person to fill in missing words in a text.
Ex: The SAT's language portion contains questions modeled in this way.
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One of the perspectives, derived from Aristotle's topics, used to generate material. The six common topics are definition, division, comparison, relation, circumstances, and testimony.
Ex: Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson's political opinions can be the subject of a common topic, such as division.
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A sentence in which two or more nouns, noun phrases, or noun clauses constitute the grammatical subject of a clause
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In ancient Roman oratory, the part of a speech in which the speaker or writer could offer proof or demonstration of the central idea.
Ex: In Julius Caesar's speech, the confirmation was scattered throughout.
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The struggle of characters with themselves, with others, or with the world around them.
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The implied meaning of a word, in contrast to its directly expressed "dictionary meaning."
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Seeking help for one's writing from a reader.
Ex: I often consult my parents.
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The invention strategy, developed by Kenneth Burke, that invites a speaker or writer to create identities for the act, agent, agency, attitude, scene, and purpose in a situation.
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The emotional or psychological impact a text has on a reader or listener.
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The omission of words, the meaning of which is provided by the overall context of a passage.
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 Repetition at the end of a clause of the word that occurred at the beginning of the clause.
Ex: Blood hath brought blood.
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A word of phrase adding a characteristic to a person's name.
Ex: Alexander the Great.
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Language dominated by the use of schemes and tropes.
Ex: "The ground is thirsty and hungry."
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A part of the plot that moves back in time and then returns to the present.
Ex: In Oedipus Rex, both Oedipus and Iocaste recall previous events.
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A point that a speaker or writer generations on the basis of considering a number of particular examples.
Ex: "All French people are rude."
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A piece of writing classified by type.
Ex: Science Fiction.
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Activities that writers use, during the writing process, to locate ideas and information.
Ex: For my research paper, I have investigated many sources in the library and online.
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Writing or speaking that implies the contrary of what is actually written or spoken.
Ex 1: "Of course I believe you," Joe said sarcastically.
Ex 2: "I can't describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her…I even hoped for a while that she'd throw me over" (Fitzgerald 157).
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In ancient Roman oratory, the part of a speech in which the speaker provided background information on the topic.
Ex: Julius Caesar used narration in many of his speeches.
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The speed with which a plot moves from one event to another.
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A set of similarly structured words, phrases, or clauses that appears in a sentence or paragraph.
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An insertion of material that interrupts the typical flow of a sentence.
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The English translation of konnoi topoi, the four topics that Aristotle explained could be used to generate material about any subject matter; also called basic topics.
Ex: Topics include justice, peace, rights, and movie theaters.
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A sentence with modifying elements included before the verb and/or complement.
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An artful variation from typical formation and arrangement of words or sentences.
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 In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the speaker or writer uses to describe what happened or happens in a particular situation.
Ex: "With the cunning typical of its breed, the automobile never breaks down while entering a filling station with a large staff of idle mechanics.  It waits…" (Russell Baker)
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 In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the speaker or writer uses to describe the means by which something happened or happens in a particular situation.
Ex: "As a general rule, any object capable of breaking down at the moment when it is most needed will do so.  The automobile is typical of the category." (Russell Baker)
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In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the speaker uses to describe the person or persons involved in taking action in a particular situation.
Ex: "Thus [the automobile] creates maximum misery, inconvenience, frustration, and irritability among its human cargo, thereby reducing its owner's life span." (Russell Baker)
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 A brief narrative offered in a text to capture the audience's attention or to support a generalization of claim.
Ex: "A good man, gray on the edges, an assistant manager in a brown starched and ironed uniform, is washing the glass windows of the store...Good night, m'ijo! he tells a young boy coming out after playing the video game..." (Dagoberto Gilb)
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A sentence with two or more independent clauses.
Ex: Canada is a rich country, but it still has many poor people.
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Conclusion (of Syllogism)
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 The ultimate point or generalization that a syllogism expresses.
Ex: All mortals die.  All men are mortals.  All men die.
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 The combination of two words into one by eliminating one or more sounds and indicating the omission with an apostrophe.
Ex: "Do not" becomes "don't." "Should have" becomes "should've."
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See contradiction.
Ex: The book is red. The book is not green. If the book is read, then the book is not green. If the book is not red, then the book may be green.
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Facts, statistics, and examples that a speaker or writer offers in support of a claim, generalization, or conclusion.
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 Reasoning that begins with a general principle and concludes with a specific instance that demonstrates the general principle.
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The presentation and format of a composition.
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The final observation, before delivery, by a writer or speaker of a composition to evaluate appropriateness and to locate missteps in the work.
Ex: For process papers, I edit my work many times before submitting a final draft.
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 Reading to garner information from a text.
Ex: For history, I perform efferent reading of the textbook.
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 Logical reasoning with one premise left unstated.
Ex: We cannot trust this man, for he has perjured himself in the past. (Missing: Those who perjure themselves cannot be trusted.)
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 An indirect expression of unpleasant information in such way as to lesson its impact.
Ex 1: "Passed way" for "died."
Ex 2: "You see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of a sideline, you understand"(Fitzgerald 87).
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 A passage of text that evokes sensation or emotional intensity.
Ex: "Waves crashing on the ocean look like knives."
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A conclusion that a reader or listener reaches by means of his or her own thinking rather than by being told directly by a text.
Ex: I infer that America became isolationist during the 1920s because of the horrors of World War I.
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Access to information and collective information.
Ex: I will use my memory to remember these terms
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A comment that is made directly to the reader by breaking into the forward plot movement.
Ex: Narrator: The dog ran very fast across the street, dodging two cars.
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 The perspective or source of a piece of writing. A first-person point of view has a narrator or speaker who refers to himself or herself as "I." A third-person point of view lacks "I" in perspective.
Ex: The Great Gatsby is written in first-person point of view.
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Combination of two or more elements in a dramatistic pentad in order to invent material.
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Definition
The construction of meaning, purpose, and effect in a text.
Ex: I am reading The Great Gatsby.
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A log in which readers can trace developing reactions to what they are reading.
Ex: I am maintaining a character log while reading The Great Gatsby.
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Definition
The particular choices a writer or speaker makes to achieve meaning, purpose, or effect.
Ex: F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby chooses to use imagery, similes, and metaphors often.
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Definition
Stereotypical time and place settings that let readers know a text's genre immediately.
Ex: For science fiction, if the text takes place in the future, on another planet, or in another universe.
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Definition
 The repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning or in the middle of two or more adjacent words.
Ex: "To make a man to meet the moral need/ A man to match the mountains and the sea" (Edwin Markham)
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Definition
The repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause.
Ex: "Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business." (Francis Bacon)
Term
Definition
The repetition of a group of words at the beginning of successive clauses. Ex: "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence…" (Winston Churchill)
Term
Antecedent- Consequence Relationship
Definition
 The relationship expressed by "if…then" reasoning.
Ex: If industries poison rivers with pollutants, then many fish will die.
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Definition
The substitution of one part of speech for another.
Ex: "The thunder would not peace at my bidding." (William Shakespeare)
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One of three strategies for persuading audiences--logos, appeal to reason; pathos, appeal to emotion; and ethos, appeal to ethics.
Ex: "I elicited the anger of some of the most aggressive teenagers in my high school.  A couple of nights later, a car pulled up in front of my house, and the angry teenagers in the car dumped garbage on the lawn of my house as an act of revenge and intimidation." (James Garbarino)
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A noun or noun phrase that follows another noun immediately or defines or amplifies its meaning.
Ex: Orion, my orange cat, is sitting on the couch.
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Definition
A carefully constructed, well-supported representation of how a writer sees an issue, problem, or subject.
Ex: The Patriots prevailed over the Loyalists, who they violently persecuted due to their conflicting position; both betrayed the African slaves to temporarily bolster their military.
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Definition
A diagram showing the relations of writer or speaker, audience (reader or listener), and text in a rhetorical situation.
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One of the traditional elements of rhetorical composition -- invention, arrangement, style, memory, or delivery.
Ex: Frederick Douglass's style (one aspect of canon) is both objective and subjective.
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A mental exercise to discover possibilities for analysis of communication.
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A narrative in which the reader or viewer does not have access to the unspoken thoughts of any character.
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One who changes during the course of the narrative.
Ex: Romeo is a dramatic character in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.
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Definition
 The facts, statistics, anecdotes, and examples that  a speaker or writer offers in support of a claim, generalization, or conclusion.
Ex: "Recent studies in the brain chemistry of rats show that when they play, their brains release large amounts of dopamine . . ." (Rifkin).
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 An entity referred to by one of its attributes or associations.
Ex: "The press" for the news media.
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In a text, an element that stands for more than itself and, therefore, helps to convey a theme of the text.
Ex: Purple symbolizes royalty.
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A group of words that merely repeats the meaning already conveyed.
Ex: "If you don't get any better, then you'll never improve."
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The main idea in a text, often the main generalization, conclusion, or claim.
Ex: The corruption of America's rich in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
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A single sentence that states a text's thesis, usually somewhere near the beginning.
Ex: "Sweatt v. Painter advanced equality by ultimately improving African American educational rights, thus transforming American democracy for a better today."
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Definition
A place where writers go to discover methods for proof and strategies for presentation of ideas.
Ex: Gun control laws, the environment, or communism.
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An artful variation from expected modes of expression of thoughts and ideas.
Ex: Pun or metonymy.
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The textual features, such as diction and sentence structure, that convey a writer's or speaker's persona.
Ex: F. Scott Fitzgerald's voice is made up of mystery.
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 The acts a writer goes through, often recursively, to complete a piece of writing: inventing, investigating, planning, drafting, consulting, revising, and editing.
Ex: I used this to write my research paper.
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The person or persons who listen to a spoken text or read a written one and are capable of responding to it.
Ex: The audience of Michael Chabon's lecture at the Mondavi Center was composed of many Oak Ridge students.
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Inverted relationship between two elements in two parallel phrases.
Ex: "To stop too fearful and too faint to go."
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Definition
 The ultimate conclusion, generalization, or point that a syllogism or enthymeme expresses.  The point, backed up by support, of an argument.
Ex: In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's claim was that the poor are wrongly mistreated.

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