Teaching Students to Use Secondary Criticism?

This is really a follow-up to the earlier thread about the library, where we received some interesting posts about how you were teaching your classes about basic practices of library research.

In that earlier thread, I was especially struck by Allen’s point about the need to teach students about how to incorporate other critical points of view into their writing, without allowing those other writings to dominate or determine their own positions. This principle seems to be the rationale behind Allen’s six source requirement for a 5-6 pp. paper.

As always, I’m curious about how others deal with this in their lower- and upper-division courses, whether they choose for their classes the secondary criticism they use for research papers, and how they teach students the balancing act that we sometimes struggle with in our own writing.

If you have suggestions for especially useful works of criticism that function well in your courses and lectures, please share those with us.

Best,

DM

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