What is “College Writing”? Getting the Most Out of TS English Fall Quarter.
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What is “College Writing”? Getting the Most Out of TS English Fall Quarter
“College Writing” is… Impossible to teach! Argumentative Disciplinary/Situational
“College Writing” is… Impossible to teach! – Most writing is taught as a series of “rules” (grammar; don’t write in the first person; use five paragraphs; don’t overuse semi-colons). – But there are many different varieties of college writing. “Rules” that could apply to all of them together are few and not very helpful. – “College writing” is… so variable, so diverse, that it is hard to find any one model or set of “rules” that apply.
“College Writing” is… Impossible to teach! – If “college writing” is hard to define, then what does it mean to be a successful “college writer”? – “College writers”… Work with an understanding of the role that writing plays in the research and instruction of the university. Respect the “standards” of scholarly knowledge production in they types of writing they produce. Have the skills and rhetorical awareness to adjust their writing to multiple disciplinary situations.
(TS) “College Writing” is… ARGUMENTATIVE: (Standards) – “Argument” is the language of knowledge production, it is, literally, one of the ways that knowledge is produced in the university. – College writers engage in inquiries; pursue observations and investigate evidence; analyze evidence through authorized means; and come to interpretive conclusions based on that analysis. Most of them use writing of some sort to communicate this process and to organize their inquiry into a cohesive argument within their fields of study. – Argumentative writing is one of the expectations of your college instructors
(TS) “College Writing” is… ARGUMENTATIVE: In order to write effectively in college, we must be aware of the basic standards and genres of writing at work in the university. We must understand what our instructors are asking us to “do” with our writing. In TS, we will focus on skills that are central to argumentative writing: – Evidence & Analysis – Claims Building – Line of Inquiry – Academic Conversation
(TS) “College Writing” is… DISCIPLINARY: At the same time, what “counts” as an argument (what types of evidence are available, what types of interpretation/analysis are valid, what assumptions are acceptable, what claims matter and why) change dramatically across disciplines – Your professors are trained in certain types of arguments and will be holding you to the standards of their discipline. – Each discipline (and, in some cases, sub-disciplines or inter-disciplines) follow different “rules” about how arguments work, in subtle ways.
(TS) “College Writing” is… DISCIPLINARY: In order to understand what “college writing” is, we must understand what “college” is. We must be able to recognize that college (and life) contains many different “situations” which require many different types of writing. – Situational Awareness (where am I?) – Rhetorical Sensitivity (what is “good writing” here?) (While you are learning about writing, you will also be learning a little bit about HOW the university produces knowledge)
(TS) “College Writing” is… META-REFLECTIVE: Whatever I teach you about writing in the next 10 weeks, you will need to be able to continue to teach yourself to write over the course of your college career. You need to be able to think critically about your own writing. – Revision – Reflection – Self-Critique (By learning how to fairly and honestly evaluate your own writing, you will be a more effective student and learner)
Class Goals Context: To make appropriate writing choices based upon a critical understanding of rhetorical situation. Argument: To produce complex and persuasive claims that matter in an academic context. Analysis: To build and support your argument through a purposeful analysis of evidence and assumptions. Conversation: To use research and analysis to situate your argument in relation to a larger academic conversation. Organization: To organize your analysis logically using a strategic line of inquiry and effective transitions. Revision: To develop strategies for identifying substantial issues in your writing and revising in order to strengthen the overall argument.
Class Structure (10 weeks) Sequence 1Sequence 2 Preliminary Paper Short Paper 1.1 Short Paper 1.2 Short Paper 1.3 Short Paper 1.4 Research Presentation Short Paper 2.1 Short Paper 2.2 Short Paper 2.3 ARGUMENT RHETORIC Major Paper #1 Major Paper #2 Portfolio Revised Short Paper 1.1 Revised Short Paper 1.4 Revised Short Paper 2.2 Revised Major Paper #1 COVER LETTER!! FULFILLS GOALS FOR ARGUMENT DISPLAYS RHETORICAL AWARENESS PROVES METACOGNITION
Tips for Fall TS English Writing – Start papers early, plan for a revision stage – Be attentive to feedback and set specific personal goals – Seek out help – Find your own interests Classroom – Take notes on discussion (not just on what ends up on the board) – Keep track of the schedule (look ahead)