Writing about Writing : A College Reader

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-12-28
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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When Doug Downs and Elizabeth Wardle published their article "Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions" in June 2007, they challenged the field to imagine a new approach to first-year composition. Their groundbreaking new reader,Writing About Writing, does exactly that, by encouraging students to draw on what they know in order to contribute to ongoing conversations about writing and literacy. Class-tested by thousands of students,Writing about Writingpresents accessible writing studies research by authors such as Donald Murray, Mike Rose, and Deborah Brandt, together with popular texts by authors such as Malcolm X, Sherman Alexie, and Junot Diaz. Throughout the book, friendly explanations and scaffolded questions help students connect to readings and -- even more important -- develop knowledge about writing they can use at work, in their everyday lives, and in college.

Author Biography

Elizabeth Wardle is an associate professor and the Director of Writing Programs at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests center on genre theory, transfer of writing-related knowledge, and infusing composition classrooms with the field's best understandings of how writing works. She is currently conducting a study examining the impact of smaller class size on the learning of composition students, as well as a study examining the impact of the writing-about-writing pedagogy on student writing and attitudes about writing.
Doug Downs is an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition in the Department of English at Montana State University. His research interests center on research-writing pedagogy and facilitating undergraduate research both in first-year composition and across the undergraduate curriculum. He continues to work extensively with Elizabeth Wardle on writing-about-writing pedagogies and is currently studying problems of researcher authority in undergraduate research in the humanities.

Elizabeth and Doug, along with several of their colleagues, have been furthering the conversation on writing-about-writing pedagogy on their Bedford Bits blog, Write On: Notes on Teaching Writing about Writing. Visit the blog to contribute to the discussion and get some useful tips for teaching with Writing about Writing: A College Reader.


Table of Contents

Introduction to the Conversation
Why Study Writing?

Making Sense of the Readings
     John Swales's CARS Model of Research Introductions (handout)
A Different Kind of Research and Argument
     Stuart Greene, Argument as Conversation: The Role of Inquiry in Writing a Researched Argument
An Example, and a Challenge
     Michael Kleine, What Is It We Do When We Write Articles Like This One-and How Can We Get Students to Join Us?
Texts/Constructs: How Do Readers Read and Writers Write?
     Joseph M. Williams, The Phenomenology of Error
     Donald M. Murray, All Writing Is Autobiography
     Margaret Kantz, Helping Students Use Textual Sources Persuasively
     James E. Porter, Intertextuality and the Discourse Community
     Keith Grant-Davie, Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents
     Christina Haas and Linda Flower, Rhetorical Reading Strategies and the Construction of Meaning
     John Dawkins, Teaching Punctuation as a Rhetorical Tool
Student Writing in Progress:
     Zachary Talbot, A Rhetorical Analysis of Authors on the CIA Torture Inquiry
Chapter-Culminating Writing Assignments 
     -- Navigating Sources That Disagree 
     -- Considering Constructs about Writing 
     -- Rhetorical Reflection
Suggested Additional Readings and Resources
Writing Processes: How Do You Write?
     Robert J. Tierney and P. David Pearson, Toward a Composing Model of Reading
     Sondra Perl, The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers
     Carol Berkenkotter, Decisions and Revisions: The Planning Strategies of a Publishing Writer, and Donald M. Murray, Response of a Laboratory Rat-or, Being Protocoled
     Mike Rose, Rigid Rules, Inflexible Plans, and the Stifling of Language: A Cognitivist Analysis of Writer's Block
     Barbara Tomlinson, Tuning, Tying, and Training Texts: Metaphors for Revision
Student Writing in Progress:
     Maria P. Rey, Letter to West Port High School's English Department
     Clayton Stark, The Average Writer: A Self Analysis
     Dominieq Ransom, How Do I Write?
Interlude: What Writers Say
     Anne Lamott, Shitty First Drafts
     Stephen King, What Writing Is
     Allegra Goodman, Calming the Inner Critic and Getting to Work
     Kent Haruf, To See Your Story Clearly, Start by Pulling the Wool over Your Own Eyes
     Susan Sontag, Directions: Write, Read, Rewrite. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as Needed.
     Junot Díaz, Becoming a Writer
Chapter-Culminating Writing Assignments 
     -- Autoethnography 
     -- Alternative Autoethnography Assignment: Portrait of a Writer 
     -- Combination Assignment
Suggested Additional Readings and Resources
Literacies: How Have You Become the Reader and Writer You Are Today?
     Deborah Brandt, Sponsors of Literacy 
     Malcolm X, Learning to Read 
     Sherman Alexie, The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me 
     Shirley Brice Heath, Protean Shapes in Literacy Events: Ever-Shifting Oral and Literate Traditions 
     Dànielle DeVoss et al., The Future of Literacy 
     Dennis Baron, From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies
Student Writing in Progress: 
     Tyler Cecchini and Hugo Perez, Motivation in Literacy Development
Chapter-Culminating Writing Assignments 
     -- Literacy Narrative 
     -- Group Analysis of Literacy History
Suggested Additional Readings and Resources
Discourses: How Do Communities Shape Writing?
     John Swales, The Concept of Discourse Community
     James Paul Gee, Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction
     Ann M. Johns, Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice: Membership, Conflict, and Diversity
     Elizabeth Wardle, Identity, Authority, and Learning to Write in New Workplace
     Tony Mirabelli, Learning to Serve: The Language and Literacy of Food Service Workers
Student Writing in Progress:
      Sean Branick, Coaches Can Read, Too: An Ethnographic Study of a Football Coaching Discourse Community
Chapter-Culminating Writing Assignments 
      -- Discourse Community Ethnography 
      -- Mushfaking the Dominant Discourse: An Analysis of Gee's Claims
Suggested Additional Readings and Resources
Authority: How Do You Make Yourself Heard as a College Writer?

     Joseph Harris, The Idea of Community in the Study of Writing
     Josh Keller, Studies Explore Whether the Internet Makes Students Better Writers
     Ann M. Penrose and Cheryl Geisler, Reading and Writing without Authority
     Christine Pearson Casanave, The Beginnings of Change: Learning and Teaching Undergraduate Academic Literacy Games
     Lucille P. McCarthy, A Stranger in Strange Lands: A College Student Writing across the Curriculum
     Ken Hyland, Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in Academic Writing (handout)
Student Writing in Progress:
     Kelsey Diaz, Seven Ways High School Prepares You for Failure
Chapter-Culminating Writing Assignments 
     -- Do Students Have a Right to Their Own Languages? 
     -- What Does It Mean to Write with Authority in College? 
     -- Analysis of Science Accommodation
Suggested Additional Readings and Resources

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