75. On Peer Reviewing RSA Single-Paper Proposals
Here are my thoughts on the 25 panels I have reviewed, in broad terms. They are divisible into three categories.
1. Average (about 15 of 25 abstracts).
Para 1. Here is an object/event/text. This object/event/text is really interesting.
Para 2. This object/event/text is really, really interesting. I am very passionate about this object/event/text.
Para 3. I hope to say something interesting about this object.
2. Above-average (about 5 of 25 abstracts).
Para 1. There is a concept of interest in rhetorical theory/criticism/pedagogy. I am familiar with this topic, but I make reference to no specific literature, or, if I do, it's probably Kenneth Burke, who died 15 years ago.
Para 2. Here is an object/event/text. This object/event/text is really interesting.
Para 3. I hope to say something interesting about this object in light of this concept of interest.
3. Excellent: (about 5 of 25 abstracts).
Para 1: Specifically named scholars who have published in the last ten years disagree about a concept of interest in rhetorical theory/criticism/pedagogy.
Para 2: This disagreement can be adjudicated/resolved/complicated by reference to a specific object/text/event.
Para 3: In a specifically enumerated process, I will adjudicate/resolve/complicate this disagreement by doing specific critical work to the object/text/event.
Agree? Disagree? And if you agree, can't we teach these formulae to students? (And - did I use this formula myself? I hope so!)