ERIC Number: ED337771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Writing Process and the Distribution of Power.
Composition classrooms are the place to talk specifically about the rhetoricity of writing in academic disciplines. Students can use personal experiences to understand what it means to see themselves as aggressive or passive participants of various institutions. Too often students do not understand themselves as having any authority, but are instead satisfied with just doing what they are told. They seem to overemphasize the authority of the "experts," as a result of which, too many papers possess a certain unoriginality which takes the form of anything from an uninvolved and indecisive reproduction of an argument to plagiarism. Assignments can be designed to avoid this problem by engaging students in exploring their participation in this institution as one of many others in their lives. In order to get at the institutionalization of language, the assignments should focus on the words of texts, and how the words are used by writers to do things to readers within a specific context. This focus shows the students that the specific language is a tool for creating ideas and effect, thus enabling them to grasp the rhetorical nature of authority. Four assignments which have proved effective in the classroom require students to: (1) examine the multiplicity of voices within themselves; (2) explore and analyze the voices used in another text; (3) write about how they themselves, in the prior assignment, used various voices both favorably and unfavorably to create authority; and (4) discuss how an author has created knowledge by building on the work of others. (Full instructions for the assignments are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Power; Voice (Rhetoric); Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).