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ERIC Number: ED261408
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Closing My Eyes as I Talk: An Argument Against Audience Awareness.
Elbow, Peter
Three arguments are proposed in favor of writing without an audience. The first states that even though ignoring the audience may lead to worse writing at first, it will often lead to better writing in the end. The intimidating nature of the teacher or an unknown as audience supports this. The second argument states that writing without an audience can sometimes lead to better writing immediately. The qualities of effective writing include a lack of self consciousness and total involvement with the topic. The Piagetian and Vygotskian developmental models ("language begins as private" versus "language begins as social") give two different lenses through which to look at a typical weakness in student writing--the tendency to leave so much unexplained and undeveloped--and determine whether this weakness is a failure to connect with the audience or a failure to connect with the self and the issue. The third argument calls into question the assumption that writing that is "audience aware" is more mature than writing that is not. Many professional poets, writers, and philosophers insist that their most serious work is not communication to an audience at all, but rather a commitment to language, reality, logic, and experience. These arguments imply that teachers must (1) help students not only to fit their words to an audience, but also to write in solitude, without dependence on social interchange; and (2) become a special kind of audience for students, one that trusts and supports them without being judgmental. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A