ERIC Number: ED181455
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Two Heresies of Composition Pedagogy.
Zimecki, Michael W.
It is possible to reconcile two supposedly warring viewpoints toward composition pedagogy: that writers know what they want to say before they begin writing (a viewpoint that stresses the communicative function of writing), and that writers discover what they have to say in the act of saying it (a viewpoint that focuses on the heuristic value of writing). Both positions contain a large measure of truth and can be used to advantage by the same writer in the same composition. Knowing writing techniques before beginning to write, such as repeating thematic tags to hold the reader's attention, must be the result of intellectual processes, as well as the application of a rule. Having a working knowledge of principles of contrast, classification and causation and of rules of implication is important before beginning to write, but such knowledge merely underlies those operations a writer makes when using verbal cues to expand an initial set of sentences, generating further sentences while organically structuring a composition. Basic principles of deduction and hypothesis-making help writers produce more intelligible compositions only if these principles are taught in a flexible way. This theory of composition pedagogy may facilitate a greater appreciation of literature by helping students understand key words, grasp implications, shun cliches, and recognize passages in which authors use stock situations to capitalize on standard emotions and beliefs. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (Atlanta, GA, November 1-3, 1979)