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ERIC Number: ED359562
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-2
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Mina Shaughnessy in the 1990s: Some Changing Answers in Basic Writing.
McAlexander, Patricia J.
Although Mina Shaughnessy remains influential in the basic writing field, her answers to the vital questions of who basic writers are and why they underachieve as writers are changing. Whether she intended to or not, Shaughnessy's book "Errors and Expectations" (published in 1977) was a major force in forming an image of basic writers as urban and of lower socio-economic status--aliens in academe, whose writing skills were weak and who were represented by a high percentage of minorities. She stressed their inexperience with standard English, with writing in general, with academic writing in particular. In the 1990s, the term "basic writer" is far more inclusive. Basic writers are described as diverse--different only from each other and coming from a variety of backgrounds. Four often interrelated reasons for writing underachievement are now stressed: (1) a more universal kind of inexperience among students, one cutting across socio-economic and dialectic lines; (2) the acknowledgement by educators of students' lack of interest in writing and reading; (3) the influence of biochemical irregularities (hypoactivity, hyperactivity, and attentional disorders) as factors in the low achievement of a number of students; and (4) the acknowledgement of the role of learning disabilities in basic writers' difficulties. Changing answers to Shaughnessy's questions will be influential forces in shaping basic writing programs as educators move further into the 1990s. (Contains 18 referneces.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A