From Times Higher Education today:
Moreover, the thesis statement can actually be the enemy of critical enquiry because it straitjackets the writer into a line of argument that has to be defended to the death, blithely bulldozing – or simply ignoring – any tentative “yes, but…” that might get in the way. This is not a trivial issue. The tyranny of being forced to declare one’s position pervades our culture, from the school debating societies to our adversarial parliamentary system, where admitting that the opposing side may have a point is political anathema. This approach is potentially anti-intellectual – for when critical thinking is applied to most issues, it becomes apparent that there are multiple viable perspectives, which can both diverge and converge.
This is my point about the Stream. We want to promote inquiry and multiple perspectives, yet we choose formats (blogging, forums, and the like) that favor personal rhetoric, argument, and expression.
Luckily, there *is* a format that favors composing documents that present multiple perspectives, promotes not rushing to conclusions, and encourages students to embrace complexity instead of sweeping it under the rug to make a point. It’s called HYPERTEXT. We should use it.