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ERIC Number: ED352661
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Genre as "Field Coverage"--Divisions in Writing Instruction Erase Our Common Ground.
Bishop, Wendy
The majority of college English departments in America identify and categorize their writing courses by genre. Because of this, writing instruction as a field represents teaching interests and results in written products that are diverse enough to suggest that departments should hire writing specialists who have equally diverse credentials in the different genres of specialized writing fields, such as technical writing, creative writing, and business writing. The result of such specialization is problematic. Current course descriptions in writing tend to prohibit diverse writing experiences by defining courses narrowly by genre. Some students are exempted from the first year writing course, crucial in its coverage of rhetorical skills and process writing. Also, teachers of these genre writing courses tend to become over-specialized in order to be closely identified with their specialty. While genre division of writing instruction has proven practical, a genre focus has hidden the commonality of writing processes, suggesting that it may be time to rethink these teaching categories. It is faulty to assume that students in different fields benefit only from instruction in genres associated with those fields. Writing classes can break the composition/creative writing barrier and include instruction in both modes simultaneously. In short, writing courses should aim at emphasizing writing commonalities, process instruction, and genre experimentation. Further, teacher comments suggest other avenues for useful changes of direction in writing instruction. Designing exotic, exciting new courses of writing may provide a welcome boost of energy in a field that many teachers would rather avoid. (Fifteen references are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A