Rhetorical Precis – What even are weeks anymore?

George, Diana. “From analysis to design: Visual communication in the teaching of writing.” College composition and communication (2002): 11-39.

In the academic journal article “From Analysis to Design: Visual Communication in the Teaching of Writing” Diana George argues that the history of visual literacy in English composition classrooms has both altered the perception and changed the implementation of visual literacy in classrooms. George develops her argument by analyzing the history of literacy through foundational texts and explaining in her words how these have impacted visual literacy throughout the decades. George argues for visual literacy in order to implement the practice as a core tenant in classrooms alongside the written word. The intended audience is instructors of English composition, but I think it goes beyond that, since visual rhetoric is a part of our every day lives.  I think this is a very important article both for the argument and the foundational texts George cites.  We are, as George says, an “aggressively visual culture,” and so keeping this element from classrooms as it relates to rhetoric is a mistake for multiple reasons, first among them it is the first way many of us learn how to communicate language.

 

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Made not only in words: Composition in a new key.” College Composition and Communication 56.2 (2004): 297-328.

In the academic journal article (and speech transcript?) “Made Not only in Words: Composition in a New Key,” Kathleen Blake Yancey  explores the modern history of Composition, analyzing what she believes are key moments in the history of composition. Yancey develops her argument by contextualizing and explaining these key moments, the history, and the impact in the classrooms.  Yancey does this in order to strengthen her argument of a need to focus on three key changes for a new curriculum and to develop a new major: composition and rhetoric. This is intended for colleges and instructors, or anybody else in control of developing and implementing a major shift in ideology and curriculum change. This is a great text to read to give some context to the shift that English programs have been, and are going through, in this historical moment.  From enrollment patterns to shifts in ideology and program changes, Yancey provides a thorough explanation that gives credence to her argument for a new major.

 

Johnson, Lamar L. “Where do we go from here? Toward a critical race English education.” Research in the Teaching of English 53.2 (2018): 102-124.

In the academic journal article “Where do we go from here? Toward a critical race English Education,” argues that traditional English curriculum does not value, and indeed can cause harm to, African American students and the causes need to be addressed.  Lamar develops his argument through definition of terms and a brief history and explanation of other academic scholars whose work precedes this article using CREE as the lens to analyze these works. Lamar writes this in order to integrate a more welcoming and wholesome curriculum for black students. The audience is teachers and anybody else with a desire to understand how Eurocentric syllabi can impact students from other histories and cultures. This article was very personal to me, and also showed me how  personal narrative and research can weave together and make a more compelling paper.  This is an especially relevant paper now, considering the current political climate we’re going through, but also a good exploration of the historical precedent leading to where we find ourselves today.

 

Hendrickson, Brian, and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller. “Inviting students to determine for themselves what it means to write across the disciplines.” (2016).

In the academic journal article “Inviting Students to determine for themselves what it means to write across the disciplines” Brian Hendrickson and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller analyze what it means to teach across and through disciplines for students from backgrounds of low socioeconomic income or underrepresented communities.  They develop their argument through exploration of other programs and the deficits they believe they saw there when accounting for the aforementioned groups.  Their purpose is to acknowledge the differences in background these students bring in order to allow them to feel more involved and welcome in an academic environment, as well as lending authenticity to the lived experience of students who might think they do not belong in the classroom. This article is intended for educators of all kinds and invites them to look at their courses, curriculums, and students through a different lens.  Their desire is to avoid treating students as “a generalized construct” and focus on “specific histories, experiences, and ‘vernacular literacies’” (76). I appreciated this article as a primer for resources on other scholars are writing that give arguments and credence to treating students as individuals, as well as focusing on those from lower socioeconomic incomes or backgrounds. Academia should be welcoming of all students, and this gives details on the arguments about how to begin and work toward this goal.

LIT 501 – Week 12 – Rhetorical Precis

Womack, Anne-Marie. “Teaching is accommodation: Universally designing composition classrooms and syllabi.” College Composition and Communication 68.3 (2017): 494.

In the academic article “Teaching is Accommodation,” Anne-Marie Womack (2017) argues that how accommodations in the classroom is traditionally defined is limited and an obstacle for inclusive and efficient teaching. Womack develops her argument through a history of how “accommodation” has been defined by law and applied to the classroom by various institutions and instructors, and giving examples of why or why not these combine to create or solve problems. The author explores this topic in order to develop a more cohesive, “universal design” approach for a classroom environment and syllabus. The audience for this article is teachers and administration in education. Working around teachers, I hear many arguments for and against accommodations, but Womack saying that “’Reasonable accommodation is institutionally designed to change the least possible amount” (496) resonated with me. There are many things we can do in order to be more inclusive, and many things, at one point or another could be considered an accommodation.  Universal design tries to be inclusive of all student’s needs, which has the additional benefit of not making those who require an accommodation because of a disability feel as though they require more, or special, attention.

 

Wasley, Paula. “Research Yields Tips on Crafting Better Syllabi.” Chronicle of Higher Education 54.27 (2008).

In an article titled “Research Yield Tips on Crafting Beetter Syllabi” by Paula Wasley (2008) found on the Chronicle of Higher Education Website, the author provides four tips for writing better syllabi. Wasley gives weight to these tips by providing each, and then giving examples from other teachers and students explaining how each was valuable information. Wasley gives these tips in order to provide instructors with some “best practices” while writing their syllabi. The audience for this is teachers of all levels.  I think this is some valuable information that could be universally applied to any syllabi and would be beneficial to both instructor and student.

LIT 501 – Week 9 – Rhetorical Precise

Bartholomae, David. “Inventing the University.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 629-653.

In the academic article “Inventing the University,” David Bartholomae explores the challenges a “basic writer” will have while writing papers across disciplines in college. The author supports his research by giving examples of student writing while explaining the difficulties a student would have within the topics, the research, and across classrooms. Bartholomae digs into this topic in order to focus on the student experience and ask instructors to reconcile the various parts of the student that create everything written for a paper and its topic. The audience for this essay is primarily teachers, though I think it would be gratifying for a student to read opinions and research like this from professors. “I am continually impressed by the patience and goodwill of our students” (624) Bartholomae says. I think it is easy to forget how difficult a thing it is not only to write, but to then hand in said writing to be judged and quantified for quality. And students are asked to do this across disciplines, whether they care about the class or topic or not. I think, more than anything, this essay is a good reminder that students should come first, and to spend more time thinking about where they come from, and everything they’re required to do while going to college.  Inside and out.

 

Pasque, Penny A., et al. “Pedagogical approaches to student racial conflict in the classroom.” Journal of Diversity in Higher Education 6.1 (2013): 1.

In the academic article “Pedagogical approaches to student racial conflict in the classroom” Penny Pasque, et al (2013) study numerous teachers across disciplines to explore, outline, and highlight the various approaches in regard to racial conflict. The authors studied 66 teachers along with 31 researchers, observed classrooms, and interviewed the teachers after to collect the data to write this essay. The authors explore the interactions of students and teachers in moments of racial conflict in order to categorize and explore possible pedagogical practices for difficult to teach moments in classrooms. This is primarily for teachers but would work anybody in an area of work where diversity is important. I appreciated such a wide breadth and depth of instructors, giving a glimpse into the various types of interactions I myself have witnessed. Though the research and examples given were great, the type of classrooms these events happened in seem to lend themselves to exploration of the topics. I wonder how one would do the “fish bowl” technique in an English or Science class, or if that would even be the place for it. I know there is not an answer for diversity work, but it was amusing for them to end on that note after all of the research.

 

Week 8 – Rhetorical Precis

Bizzell, Patricia. “’Contact Zones’ and English Studies.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 479-486.

In the academic journal article “’Contact Zones’ and English Studies,” Patricia Bizzell (1994) argues for a change in the way English is organized based on ‘contact zones,’ which are “social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in the contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power” (Pratt 482). The research of this paper is equal parts literature review for context of contact zones, and also empirical experience as a teacher, student, and reader.  Bizzell writes this in order to challenge existing norms in literary canonpursuing new model that “treats difference as an asset, not a liability” (483). The audience for this essay is teachers, researchers, and those who are involved in creating what is considered the “canon.” I graduated with a BA in literature and never read Toni Morrison or James Baldwin because I was unable to take an African American Literature class. I think there is something lost when so many authors are siloed under the topics that have been established for so long. This is an essay that exposed me to a term and ideas that I felt but did not know was a topic of research.  

Lu, Min-Zhan. “Professing Multiculturalism: The Politics of Style in the Contact Zone.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 487-503.

In the academic journal article “Professing Multiculturalism: The Politics of Style in the Contact Zone,” Min-Zhan Lu attempts to contextualize aspects of multicultural writing that appears to be a mistake due to a perception of “standard” English, devoid of consideration of diversity and cultural aspects of speech and communication. Lu’s support for her argument is developed through literature review, beginning with a definition of Pratt’s “Contact Zones,” and exploring both professional and student writing. Lu’s essay is a challenge to “common” writing practices in order to change how composition is taught and graded. The intended audience is researchers, teachers, and others who touch the theory of Pratt’s Contact Zones.  This essay focuses on how diversity and contact zones relates to the act and process of composition in the classrooms, and in published works.  Lu says that there is a prevalent belief in classrooms that a “monolingual environment is the most conducive to learning of ‘beginners’ or outsiders.’ This belief overlooks the dialogical nature of students’ ‘inner voices’ as well as the multicultural context of students’ lives” (493).  This is an essay that touches on many things especially relevant to my own beliefs and future research; by creating this standard and enforcing it as “correct” and other dialects as “errors” creates a dichotomy of thought in teachers and students.  But more than that, can instill a belief of inferiority in the own language and culture students bring with them to the classroom as they are told to unlearn a part of themselves to do well in school.

 

LIT 501 – Week 7- Rhetorical Precis

Flower, Linda & Hayes, John R. “A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 273-298.

In the academic article “A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing,” Flower and Hayes (1981) detail a concrete exploration of the decision-making process writers make while writing. The authors support their research through studying and compiling the writing process of numerous writers. Flower and Hayes explore this topic in order to provide an explanation and definition of a process that is, for many people, simply theoretical. The audience for this essay is writers and teachers. This is an extremely helpful essay that provides definitions for parts of the writing process that most people do, but not everybody knows. The “process” is different for everybody, but what this essay accomplishes is providing explanations for each part and showing that, even if it is different for everybody, parts of it are similar, and all of it is important even if not to the same degree for all writers.  The authors say, “By placing emphasis on the inventive power of the writer, who is able to explore ideas, to develop, act on, test, and regenerate his or her own goals, we are putting…creativity where it belongs…in the hands of the working, thinking writer” (296). I think what this essay does is make plain the parts of writing, giving definitions to things we might unconsciously do as writers, which allows us to make more conscious decisions when writing.

Lunsford, Andrea A. “Cognitive Development and the Basic Writer.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 299-310.

In the academic article “Cognitive Development and the Basic Writer” Lunsford (XX) argues the concepts and difficulties that create what she considers a “basic” writer, and how to overcome these hurdles.  Lunsford supports their argument with rhetorical, grammatical, and writing exercises.  Lunsford explores the difference between rote memorization and actual understanding in order to focus on the purpose of learning and teaching; the former is a barrier to learning, and the latter should be the goal of teaching. The audience for this essay is teachers, especially those in early composition or developmental rhetoric classes. Thinking about the difficulties that learning students will encounter is a very fundamental approach to pedagogy, so I appreciated the delineation in “cognitive development” that a “basic writer” might have. The leap from being able to perform a task, as a bais to thinking creatively about said tasks implications and forming one’s own ideas from this is large, but, I think, can be lost when somebody is only concerned about grades.

Rose, Mike. “Narrowing the Mind and Page: Remedial Writers and Cognitive Reductionism.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 345.

In the academic article “Narrowing the Mind and Page: Remedial Writers and Cognitive Reductionism” Mike Rose (1988) argues that the ways in which academia of the time write, talk, and theorize about “poor” writers can have limiting and adverse impact on both the students, and the teachers of theory and pedagogy. Rose supports his argument with literature review, citing writers such as Merlin Wittrock and Witkin, Moore, Goodenough, and Cox. Rose approaches this topic in order to challenge the assumption some may have of “remedial writers” as poor writers that are unable to “form abstractions; they are incapable of analysis; they perceive the world as an undifferentiated whole” (346). The intended audience is teachers and pedagogical theorists. This was an extremely interesting exploration and defense of so called remedial writers from an established theorist.  He challenges the claims of several articles we’ve read, as well as introducing other theories to explore. There is value in many of the writers he explores, but Rose makes sure to speak about the strengths of each as related to cognitive reductionism, as well as the weaknesses. 

 

LIT 501 – Week 5 – Rhetorical Precis

Williams, Joseph M.. “The Phenomenology of Error.” College Composition and Communication, Vol. 31, No. 2. 1981. 152-168.

In the academic journal article, “The Phenomenology of Error,” Joseph Williams (1981) explores the response writers and grammarians have when encountering specific errors in writing. Williams develops his argument through literature review, first-hand interviews and experience, and ends with an attempt to calculate the response errors can evoke in a reader. Williams writes this paper in order to quantify and explain that the grammar rules we follow are arbitrary, the response to mistakes random and confusing to students. He says, “We need not believe that just because a rule of grammar finds its way into some handbook of usage, we have to honor it” (164) and uses in his examples to the contrary numerous writers, authors, and academics. Williams’ audience is primarily teachers, as he concerns himself with grading numerous times throughout the article, but can be expanded to anybody who has influence and judgment over another’s writing. I find the argument compelling, since grammar is arbitrary and most people I have known to study English have absorbed grammar through reading and writing and are not able to clearly explain the “why” of what is. It is validating to have a researched paper espousing my belief that as long as intent is clear, then the specific matters of grammar are an underlying issue of which to make note. And it is not lost on me that I just (awkwardly) rearranged my sentence to avoid a split infinitive.

Hartwell, Patrick. “Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 141-233.

In the academic journal article, “Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar,” Patrick Hartwell (1985) explains the difficulty and the different schools of thought on the issue of teaching grammar. Williams exploration is done by acknowledging and explaining two fundamental “schools of thought”: grammarians and anti-grammarians. Hartwell writes this paper in order to have a common middle ground from which to start when speaking, debating, and teaching about the instruction of grammar. Hartwell writes to anybody who cares about writing and communication; the rigidity, judgment, and structure of grammar impacts everybody in every language. The issue with teaching grammar is very well summarized in the opening paragraph as Hartwell states, “the assumption that students will learn only what we teach and only because we teach” is an example of magical thinking. Language changes with each person it touches, and the codification cannot, and should not, reach everybody. As to Hartwell’s purpose, I think he explores the issues very well, and the definitions and attempts to remain neutral as the two main arguments are explored and explained. This will be a very useful paper to use for research when thinking about the how and why of teaching grammar and its importance in the classroom.

Bartholomae, David. “The Study of Error.” College Composition and Communication, Vol 31, No. 3. 1980. 253-269.

In the academic journal article, “The Study of Error,” David Bartholomae argues the definition and application of “Basic Writing” in academic writing courses. Bartholomae develops his argument through literature review and case studies, including examples of his own classroom and students. Bartholomae writes in order to more clearly define what basic writing is and, as such, how to teach and communicate better to students in the classroom precisely what the goal is in learning how to write. Bartholomae writes this paper in order to challenge the teacher’s notion of what an error is, and in so doing can be killing a student or person’s particular voice in an effort to have uniform consistency. He says that “We have read, rather, as policemen, examiners, gate-keepers” (255). Bartholomae writes for teachers, attempting to redefine the idea of “basic writing.” Bartholomae saying that “we,” the teachers, have been policeman struck a very personal cord, and has me reexamining and thinking about the ways in which I have traditionally interacted with people on the topic of writing, and particularly when it comes time to correct or judge any piece of writing. I have said in the past that learning of “standard” english is a way of gentrifying culture and upholding the status quo. This is also true of the police who are often called in to quell disturbances against that same thing. I have to believe a writer knew what that word meant, even 40 years ago, in the comparison to teachers, but if not, it made me read the paper differently, not as a mere opinion, but more as a call to action.

LIT 501 – Week 4 – Rhetorical Precis

Kinneavy, James J. “The Basic Aims of Discourse.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 129-139.

In the academic journal article, “The Basic Aims of Discourse,” James Kinneavy explores the purpose of discourse in different disciplines of writing, i.e. creative and academic. Kinneavy explores the impact and aims of different types of composition through literature and articles of various authors, as well as the author’s own experience writing and teaching.  Kinneavy explores different types of writing in order to show that teachers and writers should consider the aspects in each to increase the effectiveness of every writer in any discipline.  Kinneavy says “The important lesson to be drawn from this almost fearful symmetry is that no composition program can afford to neglect any of these basic aims of discourse” (137), which is something I think happens quite often in academia. Learning how to form an argument in a creative way, or how to write a story through an academic lens, can only aid in the process of writing and make for stronger writing overall.

D’Angelo, Frank J. “An Ontological Basis for a Modern Theory of the Composing Process.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 141-150.

In the academic article, “An Ontological Basis for a Modern Theory of the Composing Process,” Frank D’Angelo argues that the end goal of composition is “to guide individuals who are distinct and separate toward greater unity and identification of purpose and action” (148). Berlin develops his argument through a literary analysis, especially “Tradition and Theory in Rhetoric” by S.M. Halloran, which D’Angelo cites several times.  D’Angelo’s purpose is to explore the history of composition in order to predict where he believes the act of writing will ultimately end and/or achieve.  The article is philosophical in nature, and could be directed at that discipline, teachers, or other writers. I think the article is interesting as a philosophical thought exercise, and could be the basis of any number of science fiction stories.  I immediately thought of “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang when D’Angelo when D’Angelo said, “we must envision humankind as a single organism, growing, changing, and developing in a single direction” (144). I think it is a great philosophical exercise, but unity and an endpoint of singular communication ultimately means losing the myriad languages, means, and methods that exist today.

Berlin, James A. “Contemporary Composition.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 255-270.

In the academic article, “Contemporary Composition,” James Berlin argues that teachers need to be more aware of the writing practices they teach to students so that both the teacher and student can be more effective rhetoricians.  Berlin explores his argument through various rhetoricians, picking and choosing elements which he believes most important and effective to carry forward through to his goal. The author’s purpose is to create building blocks of rhetoric in order to foster students and teachers who do more than trace writing based on what has come before.  Berlin writes to teachers, hoping to build a system that will change and engage the way writing is taught.  Berlin believes in the process-oriented writing process as opposed to the product, which I think is the best process. In citing so many canon philosophers and teachers, I think Berlin appeals to traditionalists, and makes a shift in thought process and epistemology easier to accept.

 

LIT 501 – Week 3 – Rhetorical Precis

Ong, S.J, Walter J. “The Writer’s Audience is Always a Fiction.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 55-76.

In the academic journal article “The Writer’s Audience is Always a Fiction,” Walter Ong (1984) argues that writers of all types should consider fictionalizing the audience they believe will read their work. Ong cites numerous authors who have written similar beliefs in order to strengthen his argument as he expands on the idea of his thesis.  Ong writes this in order to convince writers of all levels the benefits of considering the audience to which they write in every aspect of composition. Ong’s essay is for anybody who wishes to write or to teach others how to write. His argument is convincing, since, I believe, it is something writers do all the time, even if unconsciously as demonstrated in a passage Ong of Hemingway, Ong asks, “’The late summer of that year,’ the reader begins.  What year? The reader gathers that there is no need to say” (62).  Writers often fictionalize their audiences, but what Ong suggests is to create a rhetorical weapon of the practice that will create better writing overall in every practice.

Ede, Lisa & Lunsford, Andrea “Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 77-124.

In the academic journal article “Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked” Lisa Ede and Andrea Lunsford explore the role of the audience in composition theory and pedagogy. Ede and Lunsford explore the research of various scholars and use their own empirical experiences to dissect the impact considering the audience has in the process of writing.  Ede and Lunsford believe the writer should “both analyze and invent an audience” (86) in order to have the most impact in the finished piece.  The authors audience is writers and students, since the advice can be applied to those who are accomplished at writing and those who are learning.  I think the detail the Ede and Lunsford manage within the essay is very useful.  They dissect who and what the audience, real and perceived, might be and the rhetorical practices one can use to hone an argument or a piece most effectively.  They put to word something I believe most writers do unconsciously and explained it in a way that made the practice obvious.  I believe this can be difficult to do without appearing to retread common and obvious things, but they managed to make the entire essay feel novel.

Breuch, Lee-Ann M Kastman. “Post-Process Pedagogy.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 97-125.

In the academic journal article “Post-Process Pedagogy,” explores meaning and implications behind the idea of a “post process pedagogy.”  Ong explores many writers who outline the applications and meanings of the post-process pedagogy, focusing on the writing of Thomas Kent. Breuch explores post-pedagogy theory in order to dissect its weaknesses through the writing of post-process pedagogists, and what aspects of the theory can be applied to the writing process in teaching how to write.  Breuch writes primarily to teachers, as demonstrated when she states, “While post-process theory does not offer concrete pedagogical agendas based on content, I believe that it offers valuable pedagogical principles that guide our practice as teachers” (118).  The exploration of post-process is valuable, it presents the arguments from prominent scholars as well as the pieces which Breuch feels are useful to implement in the classroom. There is an immense power in being able to explore an idea one might not agree with and still seeing value in its pieces if not the whole.

 

LIT 501 – Week 2 – Rhetorical Precis

Murray, Donald M. “Teach Writing as a Process Not Product.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 3-6.

In the academic journal article “Teach Writing as a Process Not a Product,” Donald M. Murray (1972) argues that English teachers should teach writing as a process instead of a product as is traditionally done. Murray uses his years of experience as a teacher as empirical evidence and examples for the benefits of this change in paradigm. Murray would like for English teachers to change how they approach teaching writing in order to inspire students to appreciate the act of writing instead of the goal of having finished something. Murray writes to English Teachers, addressing them specifically throughout the article. I found the argument convincing, as it puts emphasis on the appreciation of learning how to do something as opposed to creating a polished finished product. Murray says “once you can look at your composition program with the realization that your are teaching a process, you may be able to design a curriculum which works” (3). The desire of creating the former can be limiting and disheartening, because finished product could be judged or graded badly. Focusing on the process and enjoyment of creation means that even a poor mark is more opportunity to learn. Teaching the process as opposed to a product allows teachers to emphasize development.

Emig, Janet. “Writing as a Mode of Learning.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 7-15.

In the academic journal article “Writing as a Mode of Learning,” Janet Emig (1977) argues that writing is a unique mode of learning that possesses a “cluster of attributes that correspond uniquely to certain powerful learning strategies” (7). Enig uses her own experience and a research to support her thesis. Her goal in writing this paper is to explain the various ways that writing can be used in order to develop a person’s brain, thought processes, and creativity in those who pursue writing development. Emig’s audience is teachers, who can learn to think of writing as a tool for learning, or anybody else who might consider the different ways writing might connect various connections for advancement of thought. I thought her argument enlightening in the way she explains and details the ways that writing can enhance interdisciplinary learning.

Perl, Sondra. “The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Second ed. United States: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 17-54.

In the academic journal article “The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers,” answers the three questions at the root of their research. Perl supports their research through research samples and interviews taken from student volunteers. Perl’s research explores these “unskilled college writers” in order to establish the strengths, weaknesses, and habits within their own writing process. The audience for this would be college professors and, perhaps, administrators, since the data is very dense and difficult to understand, but would allow targeted development once a student’s strengths and weaknesses are understood. This stats-based research is difficult for me to understand, but framing around the development of English made it a bit easier for me to wrap my head around. Explaining the learning process, the discrepancies, and habits through this type of research was different, and enlightening to read. I am not a statistician, so cannot comment to the quality or validity of the research, but I think that the two criteria “writing samples that qualified them as unskilled writers and willingness to participate” might eschew the research a different way. In my experience, those who are willing to participate in a study, or in a class, even if they are “unskilled” have the room for the largest amount of growth.