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ERIC Number: ED186925
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Premature Reassurance and the Basic Writer.
Kiefer, Kathleen E.
College basic writing teachers involved in student/teacher conferences should be aware of the negative effects that result from premature reassurance, assuring students of success too quickly and/or beyond reasonable expectations. The attitudes of basic writers can be divided into three general categories: (1) those who have always had trouble in composition courses and expect to continue to have trouble writing, (2) those who have few mechanical problems but are reluctant to write because they are convinced they have nothing worthwhile to say, and (3) those who think they can write better than anyone gives them credit for. Prematurely reassuring the first category of writers can lead them to misinterpret a conditional, qualified teacher-made statement as a guarantee of success; e.g., if they focus on a single idea they will get a good grade. Writers in the second category can become complacent when told too soon they have almost achieved their goal of cleaning up mechanical errors and often quit before they have developed writing fluency. The third category of writers often displays a dramatic shift from defiance to devastation when confronted with an honest assessment of their writing errors, often for the first time, and can elicit from the sympathetic teacher a false assurance that the basic writing course is just what they need and all they need. Basic writers are generally more insecure about their writing than average college freshmen and their teachers should cautiously use reassurance as a motivational technique. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Teacher Student Conferences; Writing Apprehension
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (31st, Washington, DC, March 13-15, 1980). Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document.