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ERIC Number: ED186937
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Sequence of Assignments for Basic Writing: Teaching To Problems "Beyond the Sentence."
Wall, Susan V.
Students in college basic writing courses need to consider their own written language and to compare it with other students' work before they can develop a sense of the symbolic relationship between language and experience. Because of a lack of previous writing experience, basic writers have no sense that the "facts" about which they write are statements and therefore created, and no sense that this creation is a matter of choice dependent on the writer's intentions. A sequence of writing assignments has been developed that calls for basic writing students to describe, analyze, and compare their decision making processes in a number of out-of-class experiences as well as in the experience of writing papers. The assignments and the examination of other students' papers help students to see that writers can choose many different ways to describe the same kinds of things, that writing is not alien to other life experiences, that their writing behavior can be classified in new ways, and that the use of language to define the meaning of an experience lies outside the event itself. The final assignment asks students to write a long paper about themselves as decision makers, incorporating into it generalizations drawn from their previous papers. This direct encounter with their own ideas objectified on the page reveals more about the writing process than anything teachers can tell them. (GT)
Descriptors: Assignments, College English, Concept Formation, Decision Making, Descriptive Writing, Higher Education, Language Attitudes, Language Usage, Low Achievement, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Student Attitudes, Student Development, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction, Writing Processes
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; 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).