ERIC Number: ED369082
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Beyond the Formula: Students Becoming Writers.
To become writers, students must see themselves as writers and be treated as writers by their teachers. Students need to find the motivation to go beyond formulas, to grapple with messy, often inchoate ideas, to find their own particular angle of vision. What rhetoricians call "invention" or "discovery" is difficult to pin down. Without a system for invention, student writers just grope about, trying this idea or that word until something interesting comes up. One problem is the assumption that at the same time writers are discovering or inventing, they are also "creating" something new. The only way to give rules for creating something new is after the fact. Writing teachers need to be aware that a middle ground exists between giving students formulas for invention and cutting them adrift in a sea of ideas. Invention comes in several forms, including rhetorical invention and perceptual invention (based in 20th century psychology). Students can be encouraged to use their senses, to explore their own processes of invention, and to compare what they do with what others report. To find motivation to move beyond formulas for invention, students probably need to play seriously--since through playing they can often bridge the gap between motivation and the making of a piece. (A 21-item bibliography for writing instructors, a list of six journals, and a list of seven important names to watch for are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rhetorical Strategies
Note: Paper presented at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (Williamsburg, VA, April 1991).