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ERIC Number: ED319048
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Knowledge of Composition.
Landis, Kathleen
The acquisition of knowledge is concomitant to the writing process and, as such, is a key factor in composition pedagogy. Writing is not just a skill with which the student presents or analyzes knowledge, rather, writing is essential to the very existence of certain kinds of knowledge. Much of writing instruction, however, consists mainly of genre knowledge (discourse formats and principles of competent writing) and assumes that student writers have acquired the prerequisite topic knowledge. Difficulties in writing are then attributed to the lack of strategies necessary to translate conceptual ideas into a verbal form, the lack of knowledge about appropriate discourse forms, or the lack of specific types of audience knowledge. More emphasis, however, should be placed on the student's topic knowledge and should focus on whether the writing problem derives chiefly from a lack of information or whether it exists at the "metaknowledge" level. That is, students often are not aware of the kinds and amount of information they obligate themselves to include when they engage in a writing task. They have poorly developed or unsophisticated knowledge structures that govern what may well be extensive, sophisticated bodies of knowledge. Common weaknesses in freshman writing include no context, no guidance, no direction, and over-generalization. Students assume that their readers will fill in any information gaps. (Four samples of student writing are included for discussion.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A