Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Double Awareness 00A #2

In Ch. 2 of Reading Rhetorically, Bean discusses the concept of “double awareness” in which we are trained “to analyze not just what texts say, but how they say it” (18). What techniques have you been taught to develop your “double awareness”?

"Double Awareness" wasn't a concept that I was ever formally taught until late in my undergraduate career. There may have been some form of this taught to me in high school but being that it's been more than 15 years since then I don't remember if any teacher specifically taught this concept. Oddly enough the first time I came in contact with this in any form as an active component was in a creative writing course. It was a workshop based structure and the professor made it clear that in our formal analysis and subsequent presentation of another students writing, we had to go beyond what was written and into the 'how'. For this purpose, we used a narantological style of expression to do this but the method is still the same (or close to the same) in a standard composition or literature class. The specifics might change, but each class requires a 'how'. However, it wasn't until I took graduate level rhetoric courses that the explicit "How are they saying it" was discussed in depth. Various techniques were looked at as well as definition of what this means: ancient, new rhetoric, modern styles were all unpackaged. I feel that, even though it wasn't until late in my academic career that the "double awareness" was ever mentioned in depth, it is still a component that is inherent in much of what is taught in the English department. It is an understood component that is formed from bits an pieces of how we are taught over the years in the various classes so that when it was finally verbalized, the moment wasn't more of a 'oh so that's the terminology behind it' moment and not a earth shattering discovery of immense proportions. An interesting point I find, looking back, that the first actual use of this technique came not from a literature course but from a creative writing class. This breaks the typical mold of what is seen a stypically taught in the various genres within the English department.


  1. I had never heard of this before, thanks for sharing!

  2. Good post as usual! Thanks for it