As Rebecca points out in her post, the idea of writing a paper as telling a story about a text creates a more creative, innovative mindset toward the assignment. Sometimes, as an English major, writing a papers becomes a tedious task. But, just as Professor Vander Zee wove at different narrative on writing papers – he demonstrated that writing academic or research papers can be another way of telling stories. Just as people tell stories to about their days, their weekends, or interactions with other people, writing papers is another way to make sense of the world or texts we encounter.
Professor Vander Zee also related this idea of sources and research as creating a dialogue or conversation within a paper. This is a very different spin on the how I always viewed research and sources. Viewing sources in this way opens up a new approach to understanding how to incorporate research into a paper. While unintentionally, I now realize I saw my sources as passive entities in my papers; Professor Vander Zee’s method moves research and sources into a more active, agent role, reinforcing the paper as narrative approach. Not only does this engage the sources I use in my papers, it also engenders agency in my role as a student writer interacting with other scholars’ discourse and research.