BP7: The Shitty Writing Method

Blog » BP7: The Shitty Writing Method

Posted on 19 Apr 2013 03:39

In Sondra Perl’s article, “The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers,” Perl gives the readers an analysis of the results of a study done on students and writing. Perl discusses three questions: how unskilled writers write, can their processes be analyzed in a schematic matter, and can an increased understanding in the matter suggest anything about writing in school? She delves into the different strategies that are used by the students, and how these strategies help the students be better writers. Perl came to realize that many students use their own experiences to help further their writing and answer the question being asked. I personally agree with this statement because I always HATED when my teachers in high school would force-feed some bullshit writing method that HAD to be implemented, which I think hindered me into becoming a terrible writer. I’d rather just write what’s on my mind, as I’m doing so now (from past experience as Perl stated) because I can actually develop a mind and make the writing sound more interesting. I don’t think anyone would want to just sit there and read a boring formatted writing that follows a certain prewrite stage. I think according to the case study of Tony, he had been taught to reread his every thought as I had been taught, and this is where I think the flaw is. Tony produced more words in the reflexive writing section, which I think is how we should all be taught how to write. Perl states, “Tony exhibited a number of strategies that served him as a writer whether the mode was extensive or reflexive. Given any topic, the first operation he performed was to focus in and narrow down the topic. He did this by rephrasing the topic until either a word or an idea in the topic linked up with something in his own experience” THIS is how writing should be taught!! Tony obviously felt more comfortable relating the topic to his own experience because at that point, his mind starts flowing with creative writing juices, allowing him to fully expand on the topic, rather than the extensive method that led to more errors and flaws in Tony’s writing.

Another thing Perl explains is when she states "On these occasions, they began writing without any secure sense of where they were heading, acknowledging only that they would 'figure it out' as they went along.” This study shows that writers do indeed write at their own pace. In high school, we were constantly timed on our writing, and they expected us to produce a Hemingway novel with time constraints. the problem with college freshmen is that they come to college all brainwashed by high school teachers and AP tests and SATs that all require you to write a full essay in about 40 minutes, which is not okay and not applicable to the real world. I would love for one of those teachers to find me ONE, just one job field that would require one to do so. Newsflash to all instructors: people write at their own pace! Not only do they write at their own pace, but some also write differently than others. Unheard of, right?! God forbid we write a first draft, and then completely change our minds on our second or third draft. Yes, I do think proofreading and peer review is vital because reading aloud or having another point of view can really exemplify our errors, but I think that structured writing is very, very flawed.

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