Re: ranting for anarchy

Darlene Sybert (c557506@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Wed, 14 Aug 1996 16:14:31 -0500

On Wed, 14 Aug 1996, Eric Crump wrote:
> Learning that writing is a recursive process can't be got to via enforced
> drafting. It's a realization that comes from being immersed in real
> writing situations. It's not necessary to teach it. It's important that
> people who need that concept discover it.

And how do you immerse your students in "real" writing situations, given
that they are required to take freshman comp? I try to stimulate their
interest in writing a research paper by asking them to defend a thesis with
which at least four other students in the class disagree. And after some
class discussion of their topics, they do work quite diligently at
persuading their classmates, especially since they have to defend the
paper orally at the end of the semester. Still it isn't something they
would write at all, in most cases, if it weren't for the class requirements.

So, How DO you find these "real" writing assignments...

That's a practical question. But here's another, have you any ideas
about how a curriculum might be set up so that students took only classes
that interested them enough to do the work with no incentive but that
interest? I mean I get the idea when you talk about your classes that
you think it would be better if students waited until they had a writing
project in the "real" sense of the word before coming to your class..
or you wish they could anyway. Is this correct or do I still not "get it."

Darlene Sybert
University of Missouri at Columbia (English)
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
It's loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
-John Keats "Endymion"