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ERIC Number: ED166719
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Writing Teacher as a Dumb Reader: Some Notes on Clarity.
Gibson, Walker
Readers are "dumb" because they are not privy to the mind and intentions of the writer; and the failure of the unsuccessful writer is a failure to forecast what it is going to be like to be a dumb reader of the document. Sample sentences from students' writing illustrate the following types of writing problems, which force the reader to examine the sentences a second time: problems of punctuation that fail to mark the structure of the sentence and assist the intended meaning; problems with "it,""this," and "which," classifiable under the traditional rubric of "vague reference"; problems with sentence structure and word choice that interfere with consistency of persona; problems with word order that produce a "wall-eyed" modifier; and problems with familiar phrases that can be semantically understood in more than one way. In almost none of the cases is there any real doubt about what the writer meant to say, suggesting that the problem with the student writers is not that they think badly but simply that they do not write very well. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (68th, Kansas City, Missouri, November 23-25, 1978)