ERIC Number: ED189599
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Black Writers in the Classroom: A Question of Language Experience, Not Grammar.
Six judges evaluated 20 randomly selected essays from a remedial writing program at the University of Houston to study racial differences in writing and the reasons for such differences. The judges, who were not informed of the race of the writers, examined the essays for the following writing features: free associations, redundancy (ineffective repetition), quotations/misquotes, sermonizing and moralistic tone, references to the Bible, word choice, use of metaphor, and use of proverbs, maxims, aphorisms, and cliches. The judges found 339 of these features in the essays by black students and 83 in the essays by white students. The averages were 56.5 features per black student and 13.8 per white student, a ratio of more than four to one. The most striking differences were in redundancy, the use of quotations, sermonizing/moralizing, and references to the Bible. It was argued that these differences might be a function of cultural language experience, particularly the influence of the traditional black church service. It was suggested that teachers should be alert to these stylistic features so that they might help black students develop a comfortable writing style to meet the demands of college writing. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (31st, Washington, DC, March 13-15, 1980).