Compositionists think about writing as not just elimination of errors, or following a 5-paragraph template, or giving the instructor what they want. We believe:

  1. Writing is not just about what you say (content) but
  2. also how you say something (form),
  3. how you come up with your ideas (invention),
  4. how you go through the act of thinking and writing (process),
  5. and whether what you’ve said or how you’ve said it successfully meet the current situation (rhetoric).

In other words, writing is about communicating in ways that work—that do something in the world.

Freewriting about your writing concepts

IDEA: Writing is impacted by prior experience

  • Freewrite 1: Write about your most important memories of reading, writing, and speaking. What were your experiences at home and outside school? What were your experiences IN school? How do these experiences impact what you believe, feel, and do with writing and reading today?

IDEA: Writing helps people make meaning and get things done, but there are always constraints.

  • Freewrite 2: Write about a time when you wrote something and it didn’t work at all – people didn’t understand it, thought you had made terrible mistakes, ignored it, whatever. And not just in school, either. Describe the experiences and your feelings about it.

Pair-share. Square up. Whole class.

IDEA: “Good” writing is dependent on Writers, Readers, Situation, Technology, and Use

  • Think about a time when a rule or rules you were taught about writing by one authority (like a parent or teacher or boss) where changed or contradicted by another authority. What was the rule? Did you understand the reason for the change or contradiction? Were you bothered by it? Was the difference and the reasons for it explained to you?

IDEA: Schools are supposed to be places where the connection between literacy and democracy, between free speech and an informed citizen, is taught.

  • How does the piece from Deborah Brandt connect with the freewrites and thinking you’ve done today?

HOMEWORK: Look back over your freewrites from today. Jot down the rules that you find you keep saying to yourself whenever you write, especially for school. Also note the things that make it hard for you to write in general.

Read Rose. Do U1 blog post 2.

Then do GUM blog post 1.

Your prompt

Now that you’ve read Murray, and had a whole term of thinking about and doing revising, talk about how you’re going to approach revisions for the Final Portfolio. What does Murray say that might help you? Which essays/projects are going to be the hardest and why? Which ones are you simply starting over with? How are you going to approach the collaborative pieces?

Your prompt

Write a brief discussion about what you’re going to be researching.

  1. Why is this something you want to know more about?
  2. What do you know about it already?
  3. If you already have a position or opinion on it, what is that position/opinion? Why do you think that?
  4. Where do you think you might go to get information and find out what other people are saying about it? Could you interview anyone?

Publish: This is category U3 blog post 2.

Your prompt – Which ideas do you like?

Now that we’ve got a list of possible topics and issues (the pictures of the Post-its that were on the board are in the next post in Unit 3), write a post where you tell us which one(s) you’re interested investigating and a bit about why.

You are NOT limited to the ideas we came up with in class! If you’ve thought of something that you like better, post about that one.

Then read everybody else’s posts and Reply to at least two of them with a question or comment, even if it’s “I love this! I want to work on it, too!” Although I don’t expect all the exclamation marks.

We’ll be putting together our research teams based on what you see here.

Publish: This is category U3 blog post 1.

Your prompt

At the end of Kerry Dirk’s piece on genre, there are three Discussion Questions. Respond to #1 and #3:

#1. What are some genres that you feel you know well? How did you learn them? What are their common rhetorical features?

#3. How much freedom do you enjoy when writing? Does it help to have a form to follow, or do you find it to be limiting?

Publish: This is category U2 blog post 3 – GENRES