Writing Theory and Practice 2015-12-07 16:57:00


To be honest, these articles were okay to me. I feel like I did learn but only certain parts really caught my attention. For example, in Cynthia L. Selfe article “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing” I really liked the section “A Short History of Aurality in College Composition Classrooms” (619). Two things I really found interesting to read in this section was the discussion of “women during this period” and “black citizens” (Selfe 623). I’m a woman and black, and I have always been interested in works, movies, or anything that talks about our struggle. Talking about several groups of people was an effective technique to get readers attracted or interested in her article.

Continuing, I also liked how Selfe’s article mentioned a technique discussed in another article read for this class, and a technique that I recall a teacher in our class saying she used herself in her classroom during one of our discussions. One of the techniques I am referring to is “audio taping in the composition classroom as a way of recording the texts of small-group interactions and responding to these texts with her own suggestions, observations, and remarks” (Selfe 633). Moreover, my overall impression of this article is a lot of people would be open and even embrace Selfe’s argument now. I actually think as a society we have overcome a lot of the close minded opinions mentioned in the article. I feel like she would be proud of where we are now. Lastly, my mother has always told me, “You need to take computer classes. Everything deals with computers now.” As I take more and more classes, I’m starting to realize my mother is right. I also think more people are embracing a statement by Elizabeth Daley in Kathleen Blake Yancey’s article “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key” which is “The ability to negotiate through life by combining words with pictures with audio and video to express thoughts will be the mark of the educated student’ ” (305). In my opinion sooner or later that will change, and the real challenge will always be remaining open minded and keeping up.

Blog # 11 – Yancey and Selfe

Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key by Kathleen Blake Yancey and The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal by Cynthia L. Composing Selfe

Wow, I can’t believe this semester has gone by SO quickly! I feel like I just had to say that.

For this week, we read Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key by Kathleen Blake Yancey and The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal by Cynthia L. Composing Selfe. Both articles were very insightful and presented great information.

In Yancey’s essay she brings in the idea of writing being words on paper but she also makes the connection with writing and the digital world. As I read her essay I thought about our final projects and my experience creating mine. I first drafted a few pieces of my project and as I thought about what I did, I realized that I never used pen and paper. I got on my laptop and used my word processor to draft my piece. I continued to draft my piece until it was completed; all on a word document using my laptop. What I found more interesting about my experience was that when I went to transfer my written vignette into my digital application, I actually found myself revising my piece because the way in which I was presenting it in the digital application almost required for me to change a few of the pieces of my vignette. I found this fascinating because I am still editing my vignette in the digital application and Yancey talks about writing being not only words written on paper.

As I read Selfe’s essay I thought about times where I’ve been in a classroom where the teacher/professor has gone beyond presenting written text to deliver information to the students. Often I’ve seen how there has been videos played to proof a point or simply to deliver information to us. For instance, as I wrote this blog post I thought about Sabine’s lead night. Everyone did a great job on their lead nights but her presentation was the first one that came to mind as an example for my blog post. She presented a video where we saw what was going on in a classroom. I think that the same video she presented could’ve been presented in a written case study format. But the video delivered the information necessary for the audience effectively. We were also presented with a written poem which showed me that both multimodal and a written poem were both powerful tools to be use in the classroom. I don’t think that multimodal should replace the written information students need to receive but I think that it can serve as an aid when teaching.

Made Not Only in Words (Yancey) & The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing (Cynthia L. Selfe)


 Made Not Only in Words

I thought that Yancey’s article was a great read. I like that she includes the histories behind the four quadrants of writing.  As I read more of her article I’m beginning to notice that this style of dividing topics or subgroup topics of composition and connecting them with appropriate histories is her thing or should I say is her trademark. Yancey begins the article by talking about the exciting changes that has and is still taking place in composition. As I read further into her article I came across a question that that she ask that took me back to the twitter chat session when we were asked to answer the question how have writing change? Yancey writes, “Never before have writing and composing generated such diversity in definition. What do our references to writing mean?” Again, the question took me back and made me think of the impact technology has had on writing. Like for example when I think of writing, in any genre or writing for any matter I don’t simply think of word on paper. I think of sensory.  And when I say sensory I don’t mean metaphorically or sensory details that can only be obtain in the though or mind when writing on a blank paper. I’m talking about sensory details that are brought forth by technology and that are instantly accessible, already connected, and that brings forth powerful reaction and more importantly sensory that has subliminal influences. For example, like imagery, emotion, voice, and sound, music that technology brings on. I am able to think about and use these new forms of sensory details all because I am part of the digital world. Yancey eventually gave her answer to the question she had asked and also provided her stance on standardize writing. Yancey writes, “Do they mean print only? That's definitely what writing is if we look at national assessments, assuming that the assessment includes writing at all and is not strictly a test of grammar and usage. According to these assessments-an alphabet soup of assessments, the SAT, the NEAP, the ACT-writing IS "words on paper," composed on the page with a pen or pencil by students who write words on paper, yes-but who also compose words and images and create audio files on Web logs (blogs), in word processors, with video editors and Web editors and in e-mail and on presentation software and in instant messaging and on listservs and on bulletin boards-and no doubt in whatever genre will emerge in the next ten minutes.” Overall in this article I feel that Yancey is urging writing teachers and the education sector which to her seems to be lagging behind these new and exciting changes and trends to move in step with current times, so that writing can continue to evolve.

 The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing

Although, Selfe’s article was a bit long I think the point that she is making is very similar to Yancey’s article, “ Made Not only on Words.” And just like Yancey, Selfe also includes the histories regarding composition and aurality. In her article she basically argues that the current way composition is viewed and taught is limiting students. She states,“our contemporary adherence to alphabetic only composition constrains the semiotic efforts of individuals and groups who value multiple modalities of expression.” Again like Yancey, Selfe urges educators to move in step with the different forms of modalities in writing because she states that these modalities are not only becoming important for human communication, but by doing so educators can better assist their students in becoming effective communicators in the future.