In this article we propose, theorize, demonstrate, and report early results from a course that approaches first-year composition as Introduction to Writing Studies. This pedagogy explicitly recognizes the impossibility of teaching a universal academic discourse and rejects that as a goal for first-year composition. The authors suggest that we should move beyond FYC as a universalizing discourse enculturation to Writing Studies as a class where content knowledge about Writing Studies should be introduced, thereby changing student understandings about writing and the ways they write
Composition Forum 24, Fall http: Laurie McMillan It is here at last. A composition reader that answers the call of those who have adopted—or are ready to adopt—Writing-about-Writing WAW pedagogies for first-year composition.
WAW pedagogies take many forms, but in every manifestation, writing is featured not only as a means of learning and communicating, but also as a field of study, effectively resolving the recurring question of what content belongs in the composition classroom. Unlike many new composition readers, this one has a ready-made audience.
In short, the field is ripe for the Writing about Writing textbook. Why all the interest in Writing-about-Writing pedagogies? Well, the benefits are manifold. Most obviously, having students focus on writing, rhetoric, discourse, and the like is a way of reducing the tension that often exists when composition teachers try to discern how much of the course should be devoted to the practice and craft of writing and how much of the course should be devoted to the theme or content area.
Furthermore, a course centered on composition studies helps composition scholars use their expertise in the classroom, while it also helps educate the many teachers of composition who have backgrounds in literature or creative writing.
At the same time, these very articles will contribute to the growth of instructors who are new to composition studies or who teach first-year writing without regularly participating in relevant scholarly communities.
In addition to streamlining the focus of a first-year composition course in ways that benefit both students and teachers, WAW approaches engage students on a metacognitive level, which is important for the empowerment of student writers as well as for transfer of learning.
Many of these prompts ask students to use their own experiences and belief systems to engage with the readings. In addition, each chapter ends with two or three extensive writing assignments, many of which require students to apply ideas from the chapter to experiential or community-based research, in forms such as an autoethnography, a literacy narrative, and a discourse community ethnography.
Making these kinds of connections helps students to see that they have valuable knowledge, which can help them learn from and extend scholarly thinking about composition.
And it is in these spaces that students can focus most explicitly on their learning so as to be more likely to apply it in future situations. How does reading and understanding this article help you achieve the goals of this chapter? These sorts of questions—a staple of the Wardle and Downs reader—contribute to student engagement in meaningful ways.
The articles themselves in Writing about Writing are quite difficult, aimed at a scholarly rather than a student audience. In Writing about Writing, that scaffolding appears in many forms: Still, teachers new to WAW approaches might initially be taken aback by the use of composition scholarship in a first-year classroom.
Furthermore, creating a reader of composition scholarship rather than a rhetoric that summarizes such work is vital to the spirit of inquiry so many first-year composition teachers value. In addition to the introduction, Writing about Writing includes five chapters that address, respectively, thinking about reading and writing in general; writing processes; literacy development; community discourses; and authority for college writers.
Each chapter includes five to seven scholarly articles, a student article, and two or three assignment options.
Although the book covers a lot of ground, it is compact and thus not visually overwhelming. Writing about Writing is like any textbook, however, in that it is unable to do everything. Some might mourn the lack of full definitions and explanations common to composition rhetorics regarding such concepts as classical rhetoric, Rogerian argument, Toulmin logic, and so forth or might supplement the text with attention to peer review, writing style, or genre conventions.
Other teachers who have become comfortable with a particular content in their courses may not be ready to make the leap to a WAW pedagogy. Yet, for those who are ready to take the leap, Wardle and Downs have created a strong zip line that will keep instructors from falling into an abyss.
The text itself offers comprehensive guidance for teachers as well as students. Bedford also offers a host of online resources that both students and teachers can access.
Notes on Teaching Writing about Writing. After all, it tends to be helpful to have teaching and learning resources that closely match pedagogical strategies.
In his January blog entryDoug Downs expresses as much: And now the movement has a textbook. Bedford Bits, 20 Jan Downs, Doug, and Elizabeth Wardle. Trends in Writing- about-Writing Pedagogies. Research, Scholarship, and Inquiry for the 21st Century.
Utah State UP, forthcoming.Downs and Wardle both have practiced their “writing-about-writing” belief at different universities. Downs broke the curriculum into three sections, and taught them to approximately sixty students, around spring ’03, and spring ’05, in the course of one semester.
Sample thank you notes to soldiers 12 Hours real trends report Globe Institute of Technology Jefferson County, downs and wordle writing about summary . Jan 27, · Downs, Douglas and Elizabeth Wardle. "Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions: (Re)Envisioning "First-Year Composition" as "Introduction to Writing Studies." CCC (June ) The authors argue for transforming the required first-year course, usually taught as a introduction to the skills necessary to write "academic discourse" into a course that introduces .
When Doug Downs and Elizabeth Wardle published their article “Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions” in June , they challenged the field to imagine a new . Writing about Writing (WAW), is a method or theory of teaching composition which puts emphasis on reading and writing about writing in the writing course, and reimagines first-year composition as an "introduction to writing studies.".
Sample for: Writing about Writing: A College Reader Summary When Doug Downs and Elizabeth Wardle published their article "Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions" in June , they challenged the field to imagine a new approach to first-year composition.