Author Archives: Michael Graves

Kara Taczak & Liane Robertson, Reiterative Reflection in the Twenty-First-Century Writing Classroom

As one might easily surmise reading or having read my posts for this assignment, I claim to have   used reflection in looking back to my training in the teaching of writing as graduate student at Temple University. And I think that many of the topics and strategies advocated in our readings should be begun to be taught in remedial writing or freshman composition, as a fuller and transferable understanding of writing.

The type of reflection theorized by Yancey (1998) and the researchers of How People Learn (Bransford, Pellegrino, and Donovan 2000a, 2000b) thus includes a focus on monitoring each writing context and supporting students’ development of agency as they begin developing expertise by providing them with a robust understanding of their identities as writers.

Recursive reflection could meet rhetorical analysis in their constructing an identity of their instructors and it could be revised throughout the term

Keith Grant Davie, Rhetorical Situations and their Constituents

It seems to me that the writing process concept antecedent to Davie’s moving to the larger realities or what we might call global concerns behind local conflicts is the discovery of the true subject of remedial writing and Comp I. OK, perhaps that subject would be better named “the truer subject,” but the point is the same. In drafting a piece, a student will often only touch on his/her truer subject late in a paper, because sufficient pre-writing hasn’t been done.  Or any of a variety of other reasons.

Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca point out that unlike speakers, writers cannot be certain who their audiences are…

And we, though we are sure of who are, we should perhaps not be so sure of who we are, especially when we think of identity as socially constructed. But, in so far as we are self aware, we accept with some of the psychologists that there are true or truer selves and there is knowledge and a sense of a larger life and empowerment, along of course with risk in knowing them. perhaps THIS REALITY OFTEN IS AND/OR COULD BE BHIND MORE PASSIONATE UPPER LEVEL RTSEARCH PAPERS.

Carmen Kynard, Getting on the Right Side of It Problematizing and Rethinking the Research Paper

I think there is a concept from the New Criticism of Brooks and Warren that can be very usefully to connected to Kynard’s concern for passionate personal commitment to the writing of research papers. That concept is conflict defined ass desire vs. inhibition. Though it is often not essay for students to boil a conflict down to economical expression, repeated work can bring them to it. It could be required in the narrative essay on the topic of a conflict with an authority figure that could precede a research paper.

For a large number of students, however, rethinking what they thought a research paper could be was an easy enough process, but the actual writing proved to be an excruciatingly confusing task.

There is something very simple about a conflict. Have a character with one and the narrative part of a story or paper should write itself almost automatrically for that part of the assignment is the story of the attempts to overcome the force/s of inhibition.

Jody Shipka, A Multimodal Task-Based Framework for Composing

I  really don’t get how the first example Shipka presents works as a history. I see that it could. And that perhaps something in the way she wrote it or read it has caused my puzzlement. On the other hand, I found the project on the OED brilliant and see it could easily generate other multi media projects.

Obviously enough, one might find the idea of the expansion of terms, concepts and strategies, etc. for instructors and students to be a theme that runs through all the assigned readings, and I borrowed someone’s observation that one goal of a writing course to stretch students’ abilities, so, though I haven’t done multimodal activities, I suppose I could.

Robert Connors called it the “inescapable question and one that composition instructors must address prior to committing to the kinds of assignments they will assign to students: should [One] emphasize honest, personal writing? stress academic, argumentative or practical subjects? or try somehow to create a balance between these discourse aims?

One exercise I give that could lead to deeper student rhetorical analysis and maybe eventually to passionate authentic writing requires them to use 10 to fifteen words and or phrases that are identical in meaning, have different shades of meaning, overlapping meanings and compose a paragraph or two using all the words. I have gotten paragraphs that are like puff pieces or profiles in magazines about celebrities. these seem like naturals for teaching about many of the concepts we are reading about and will be discussing.


I think the four suggestions Graff includes in the IMPLKICATIONS section of his article are excellent, especially the idea that

doing regular practice across genres helped students to abstract rhetorical principles that they could later apply on their own.

I connect his recommendations of rhetorical analysis, Modeling, Explicit attention to process, and flexibility to be natural;y connected to the teaching of the writing process, and more specifically, the demythologizing of writing. I think Graff makes it obvious the taking apart of myths about writing can lead to rhetorical analysis and make be a more comprehensive clarification of truths about writing than I had previously realized.


So far, Dirk’s essay has given me the most ideas for teaching. I was prepared to look favorably upon a study that used Bakhtin, for I have read and admired his Rabelais and his World and want to read more of him.

Barwashi believes both that the prompt is a precondition for the existence of student writing, a means of habituating students into the subject as well as the subjectivity, they are being asked to explore… without acknowledging its presence explicitly … so that it appears their writing created its own exigency, that somehow their writing is self-prompted.

I found my myself asking since the instructor is always an important audience, whether explicitly or  implicitly, why not make the teacher as a primary audience very present? Doesn’t this follow from initial training in the teaching of writing to graduate assistants in practicums and courses in teaching, in that there is an “ideal audience,” supposedly neutral, and fair-minded, open minded, and able to handle the content presented? Why shouldn’t a teacher work to establish an ethos that would establish him/herself as an audience worth persuading?0