Tuesday, March 10, 2009

College Topic: Questions about Writing in College

10-second review: Some basic questions about college writing that are apparently never discussed.

Title: “What We Say When We Don’t Talk About Creative Writing.” G. Graff. College English (January 2009), 271. A publication of the National Council of teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “You would think that we would occasionally come together to discuss such questions as ‘Is writing in the sciences fundamentally different from writing in the humanities or are there important areas of convergence?’ And ‘What is good academic writing anyway?’ The answers to such questions are far from self-evident, and you might suppose that we would feel the need for some consensus on them, to help us cope with our own writing challenges if not to help our students with theirs. Yet I’ve never seen or heard of any college faculty meeting to discuss such questions. It’s evidently assumed that we already agree on them and thus don’t need to discuss them or that we disagree on them, so discussing them would probably get us nowhere.”

Comment: I know I missed golden opportunities when working as K-12 English supervisor. I had two opportunities and did not take advantage of either: 1. To bring the English faculty together to agree on what we meant by good writing. 2. To bring the entire faculty together to discuss similarities and differences in writing in their disciplines and in English. Sigh! RayS.

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