Composition and Rhetoric (a.k.a. Writing Studies): A Flexible Field
In his essay, "Teach Writing as a Process not a Product," Donald Murray outlines the major difference between the traditional pedagogy that directed the teaching of writing in the past and his newly hailed model. Traditionally, Murray explains, English teachers were taught to teach and evaluate students' writing as if it was a finished product of literature when, as he has discovered, students learn better if they're taught that writing is a process. For Murray, once teachers regard writing as a process, a student-centered, or writer-centered, curriculum falls into place. Rules for writing fall by the way side as writers work at their own pace to see what works best for …show more content…
The prohibition of any methods of inquiry is not productive when examining an all-encompassing topic such as discourse in culture.
In Susan Miller's historical analysis of Composition and Rhetoric, she explains how English studies--emphasizing the study of great works of literature--became the pedagogy of choice within the academy, and how this choice marginalized the teaching of writing, rhetoric, to the mere teaching of style. "In a traditional version of textual history," Miller explains, "people characterized as 'authors' are almost always imagined in control of language." Miller argues that in order to maintain their status as culture makers, the partriarchical power mongers who designed the first writing programs, defined writers as those who wrote great works of literature. Miller is also critical of those scholars of rhetoric who continue to lament and/or deny that classical rhetoric lost its influence over writing instruction during its initial establishment in America. Although it's theoretically unfortunate that rhetoric lost its status for several centuries within the pedagogical practices of writing instruction, Miller argues that classical rhetoric no longer fit with the needs of a democratic society. Its demise was inevitable.
This historical framework mapped out by Miller fits with Murray's complaint about English teachers who were taught to regard a student's writing as a product. If a writer is defined merely as a creator of great
In Dan Berrett’s article “Students Come to College Thinking They’ve Mastered Writing”, published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on March 21, 2014, the author describes some issues regarding writing that first-year students face. Berrett claims that “the students’ notions about writing” do not meet their instructors’ expectations. I, as a freshman in university, agree with most of the author’s ideas. However, there are flaws in the article, which make it less convincing.
In his article “If Technology Is Making Us Stupid, It’s Not Technology’s Fault,” David Theo Goldberg effectively informs the reader about the effects that computers in the home and school environment could have on the future education of the coming generations. Goldberg achieves this by executing defined organization and adding unique comparisons about the potentially crippling effects technology can have on a society when put into the wrong hands.
Scholarship in the field of rhetoric and composition is heavily focused on how to improve student writing and understanding (learning) in first-year composition classrooms and in the academy more broadly. This interest has led scholars to explore the experiences and struggles of faculty in rhetoric and composition, particularly the ways graduate students, adjuncts, and minoritized faculty groups (women and people of color) are relegated to carrying the heaviest teaching loads for the least pay, having few resources and little institutional support, and little or no training or professional development. While these areas have been explored in depth, very little research has focused on the training of graduate teaching assistants tasked with
Given the opportunity to speak their own authority as writers, given a turn in the conversation, students can claim their stories as primary source material and transform their experiences into evidence. They might, if given enough encouragement, be empowered not to serve the academy and accommodate it, not to write in the persona of Everystudent, but rather to write essays that will change the academy (30).
A central part of Rhetoric and Composition classes is being able to understand an apply rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking and reading, the process of creating a paper, and being able to understand source formatting. Throughout this course, I’ve written new types of papers, expanded on my analytical abilities, and have gained valuable information on how to improve on papers that I’ve written in the past. My argumentation and organization have improved greatly by in-class workshops and critical, but well deserved, teacher comments. These skills are essential in writing I’ve learned and improved on many of the goals listed in the syllabus this semester, which will be necessary for my future schooling.
An article published by the International Literacy Association, “Implementing the Writing Process” gives a strategy guide for K-5 graders explains the writing process and offers practical methods that can be applied to students to help them become proficient writers. This article shows some similarity to the Bromley chapters. The article shows from research that students who learn the writing process score better on state tests compared to those who receive instructions in the skills assessed on the test. These students become writers who can apply their skill to all subjects. The writing process takes students’attitude, motivation, and engagement into account, as it allows them to plan their writing and come up with a final publishable draft they can be proud of. The writing process involves teaching students to write in a variety of genres that apply to different
This class kept my fairytale from completely shattering, and there is something about it that sparks a child-like wonder. While English class appeared to cripple my love for reading, my passion for writing had a reawakening. Somewhere along the way I had become less prolific in story writing, but when I joined the class I experienced a revelation of not just story-telling, but poetry and spoken word, free-writes, and the power that came with putting pen to paper. When I enrolled in Creative Writing, I was not sure what to expect. I almost feared that it may take away what remained of my joy for writing, as I had witnessed with my reading. I found instead a class that flourished on kids’ imagination and devotion for writing. While I appreciate what English classes teach and realize they are beneficial for learning, I think some of my past teachers could learn something from the atmosphere that is found in a creative writing classroom. Reading in English classes should mirror writing classes— a balance between structured teaching and a pleasure of
Over the past month, we have been studying the concept of reading and writing in different communities. To assess this, we have read two different texts. Richard Rodriguez’s the achievement of desire”, from his autobiography “Hunger of Memory”; and Lucille McCarthy’s “A Stranger in Strange Lands: A College Student Writing across the Curriculum” from “Research in the Teaching of English”. Both answer key questions regarding what it takes to become a great reader and writer, however, from the reading that I have done, each one only answers one part of the question. Rodriguez’s main focus is in the aspect of reading, whereas McCarthy mainly focuses on the writing portion. Both do a decent job of analyzing and putting forth a view of how they believe a person can best perform in these environments. This then allows us to use their concepts and create our own version, based on their points of view. But why should we care? Most people at this level of academia will have developed a system of writing that works for them, and will have a difficult time breaking from it if they’re process doesn’t meet the criteria that Rodriguez, and McCarthy put forth. The reason it’s so important is because of implications these ideas have. Both authors put forth concepts that are indirectly related to one another and that are highly beneficial to all who will apply them. They will force you to conform to new environments in order to succeed, this in turn will make you more
Writing anchors a literate life, and we know that students who write well will reap the rewards long after high school is over. With this in mind, we have one year to get our students to discover the value of writing; we have one year to help them understand that we don’t assign writing just to make the teacher look better. If we are to be successful in getting our students to turn the corner as writers, we must put them in a position to see that writing is much more than a school-induced hoop to jump through
Modern composition studies have been noted to set limitations when studying traditional rhetorical theories. Geography, time and space are subjected to influence the structures of rhetoric. Composition Studies are thought to be non universal because of the practices being exclusively used in United States, Canada and England. Even though rhetoric was derived from Europe, European writing has almost forgotten the traditions of rhetoric. The composition industry in US and Canada has been interpreted to be unconscious when dealing with other systems and geographical spaces involving writing practices. We often forget the world view in which rhetoric is and has been used. Other locations in the world do not have the advantage of composition like
Mrs. Brown, my freshman English teacher, sparked my interest in writing as a form of creative expression, rather than the mindless exercise previous teachers had taught me. Instead of encouraging her students to write alongside formal guidelines, Mrs. Brown initially allowed each student to demonstrate their writing abilities through a classic narrative. Her reasoning: narratives allow her to know her students writing style, their strengths, and their weaknesses. It was this unrestricting and optimistic attitude of Mrs. Brown’s which compelled me to express myself clearly in my writing and disregard any inclination of forming an essay which catered to a specific rubric.
In reviewing my self-reflective essay from my Introduction to English Studies I have surmised that I have changed quite a bit, in terms of what should be considered as literature and a part of literary studies. My previous idea of literature was largely shaped by the texts I had read in high school and the more “archaic” courses reviewing Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer. As I began to explore other classes I was able to create a new definition. The most encompassing perspective was gained in my Theories of Rhetoric and Writing course. Here, my colleagues and I formed the idea that literature is any intellectual piece that is rooted in substantial research. Since this course, I have included 5th century BC philosophers, psychiatric journals, and collegiate papers all worth literary recognition. Therefore, literary studies is a comprehensive analysis of various texts through a number of given resources. And it is through Advanced Composition, Creative Writing, American Poetry, and Foundations of Literary Criticism where I have experienced substantial growth and development.I have included a number of my experimental and analytic works to demonstrate my achievement in broadening my awareness and understanding of literary studies as well as my growth as a creative writer and an engaged participant in academic conversations.
In this article, Berlin synthesizes four major pedagogical theories for teaching writing and how truth can be achieved through different perceptions. Neo-Aristolians (Classicists) use syllogistic reasoning to arrive at the truth because truth is logical and deductive. They see the audience as a force to be considered for shaping a message. In the classroom, truth is probabilistic and students need heuristics to discover the truth. Rhetoric allows the speaker to not only discover truth, but to convince others of this truth through a direct path of language. Positivists (Current-Traditionalists) see truth as a product of the mind and is found through inductive reasoning. They believe that truth must exist prior to language and language is used to convey the truth to another mind. Arrangement and style in the classroom are important to presenting the truth to the uninformed audience because these are the only teachable parts of the process. Neo-Platonists (Subjective-Expressionists) view truth as the result of personal vision that must be conveyed in writing. The writers place themselves at the center of the dialectic, while the audience seeks the false moment of the inauthentic portion of the text, but is not part of the discovery. Arrangement and style are unimportant in the classroom because truth is external and evident to anyone who sees it “in the proper spirit” (243). The writer is the center of the rhetorical situation, but is cut off from the community as he
For all the time today’s students spend learning to write well, Plato is skeptical of those who spend their lives crafting words. In the tenth chapter of The Republic, Socrates condemns poets as imitators. In the dialogue that bears his name, Phaedrus wonders whether words in the constructed rhythms of speech or poetry will obscure Truth, the philosopher’s ultimate goal. Speech-writing is just the clever use of rhetorical device, poetry is faulty imitation, and both empty voices can deceive us. Eventually, though, Socrates admits that the work of words deserves our effort. Because he is a writer himself, Plato’s criticism of the writing profession rings hollow: "It’s not
In this essay, I will prove that graduating students in Ontario should only study Canadian literature in a Grade 12 English course. While good writers exist in all cultures, Ontario students should only study Canadian writers. Becoming more familiar with our literature. Three reasons for this are; the need to focus on our own Canadian culture despite being surrounded by other cultures: the need to promote and establish our own writers, and the need to encourage younger Canadian authors.