Re: Freewriting

Craig Branham (branhacc@SLUVCA.SLU.EDU)
Wed, 24 Jul 1996 00:58:24 -0600

Thanks to the many people who recommended George
Jensen and John DiTiberio's _Personality and the Teaching of
Composition_. I got a chance to read a large part of the book, and
several related articles, and have found all of it fascinating,
definitely some of the most important reading I have done on Composition
this summer (though I think it's really easy to get too carried away
with this kind of stuff). I have really enjoyed this thread too.

In reading the book I discovered lots of ways that I have been
writing off Extraverted Sensing type students, and have been miffed by
their frequent requests for me to "tell them what I want". Understanding a
little better how these students communicate and work will definitely help
me in the classroom.

Eric Crumps again:

> As several people have pointed out, writing is not a singular act with
> some universal set of procedures. It's not just highly idiosyncratic,
> it is *essentially* idiosyncratic and uncapturable. What we (as a

That doesn't mean that writing processes aren't systematic. There may
not be fixed procedures but there are some people that do have routines and
rituals. The point that Jensen makes is that the shape of writing processes
are not arbitrary, thus not entirely idiosyncratic. People tend to favor
certain kinds of strategies because of how they learn and how they
understand. A better strategy for teaching writing processes seems to be
to reach students in the way that they learn as individuals, regardless
of which technology you happen to be using.

Craig B.