All posts by Sabine

Title choices



All of these titles sound like they all could work.  
I like the play on the word "revelation.” “Beyond Words,” kinda sound interesting. To me it has an artistic vibe to it. So, I’m going to rearrange my choices and put it at number 1. #2 is “Writing from the Heart.” # 3 is “Writing Matters."


Title choices



All of these titles sound like they all could work.  
I like the play on the word "revelation.” “Beyond Words,” kinda sound interesting. To me it has an artistic vibe to it. So, I’m going to rearrange my choices and put it at number 1. #2 is “Writing from the Heart.” # 3 is “Writing Matters."


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.







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.







Why the Research Paper is Not Working (Fister) & The Popularity of Formulaic Writing (Wiley)


I thought this was an interesting article because Barbara Fister touches on some important issues college students including my self are facing. For example I am in the process of completing a thesis proposal right now for my final graduate course and I feel restricted in so many ways. For one, the citation aspect is so stressed. We not only have to use APA style, but we are restricted in how it is use. If we are to implement this style we have to use strategies from one particular author. So that means despite the many free APA style recommendations and sources online written by so many experts we still have to purchase an APA book. I mean…isn’t APA or for that matter all citations supposed to be universal? There shouldn’t be one particular author or guidelines to follow. This thesis is also restricted creatively. I feel like I have to conform to a certain style, pace, and even topic. For example my thesis has to be written in the third person perspective and it can’t be personal.  I just don’t get the point of all of this? All of these guidelines and restrictions do not make me a better writer, in fact it confuses and limits me as a writer and observer and basically it doesn’t teach me anything. Since I have been in college talking about, practicing, and writing research I haven’t learned one thing yet. You know, I think the real problem behind all of this is how research is interpreted by some professors. With the issue of citation, I think it’s an important aspect to any research because it legitimize the student’s work, give credit where credit is due, and allows the reader to find the sources themselves, but I don’t think that citation is taught properly. A subject such as citation that carries so much weight in the research world is usually thrown at students rather then taught and developed over time. Well, at least that how it was in my case. The subject of college research is one that needs to be evaluated and reconsider because it is too tedious and restricted. There need to be a better way in how to go about academic writing. I applaud Barbara Fister for talking about this and even more so, I applaud her for her realistic suggestions. 




Great article! While reading it I couldn’t help to think where was this article when the class was duking it out over the memorable five-paragraph essay. This article would have definitely given us food for thought. Although I never heard of the Jane Schaffer Method I have to say I like some aspect of this method. In fact I didn’t know that such method existed, if I did I wouldn’t have waste so much time creating my own step by step writing formula for my ELL students. I think the Schaffer method definitely would work on struggling and ELL writers. I know because I had used and created something similar for my own students and I saw first hand the positive effects it had on some of my ELL students. Some students especially new comer not only lack the language for writing, but they lack the mechanics and structure to start the writing process.  Most times they don’t have that skill in their first language as well. In most cases you can’t really blame them because writing is considered one of the last skill an ELL student learns. But like I’ve said I’ve seen some positivity in step-by-step writing formulas. With such skills writing is definitely demystify and consistency is developed and students know what to do with a blank paper in front of them. But I also think that her method is a bit exaggerated. In one part of the article the author talks about having student check their writing for proper concrete details and commentary by counting words, sentence, and paragraph to meet that 1:2 ratio. For me I think that’s a little excessive. A writing formula should have a balance to it and students should be able to advance beyond it and also should not use it as a crutch for everything writing. I agree with James Collins when he said that, “when writing is taught as a formula, teachers are providing students only ‘declarative knowledge’ about writing.” He defines declarative knowledge as information about writing facts. Collins argues that aside from learning "declarative knowledge,” such as introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions, topic sentences supporting details and so on, students should also be taught two other kinds of knowledge: procedural and conditional. Procedural knowledge answers the question of how to accomplish a given task, and conditional knowledge answers the question of when to make a particular choice. Like I have mentioned before I like formula writing especially for struggling and ELL writers because it gives a foundation to work from. I myself have used and created them, however I don’t think it should be use for to long of a period, I also don’t think formulas should be restricted or should be followed to a tee because writing varies and students need to develop several strategies in identifying and dealing with variances in writing. 






Why the Research Paper is Not Working (Fister) & The Popularity of Formulaic Writing (Wiley)


I thought this was an interesting article because Barbara Fister touches on some important issues college students including my self are facing. For example I am in the process of completing a thesis proposal right now for my final graduate course and I feel restricted in so many ways. For one, the citation aspect is so stressed. We not only have to use APA style, but we are restricted in how it is use. If we are to implement this style we have to use strategies from one particular author. So that means despite the many free APA style recommendations and sources online written by so many experts we still have to purchase an APA book. I mean…isn’t APA or for that matter all citations supposed to be universal? There shouldn’t be one particular author or guidelines to follow. This thesis is also restricted creatively. I feel like I have to conform to a certain style, pace, and even topic. For example my thesis has to be written in the third person perspective and it can’t be personal.  I just don’t get the point of all of this? All of these guidelines and restrictions do not make me a better writer, in fact it confuses and limits me as a writer and observer and basically it doesn’t teach me anything. Since I have been in college talking about, practicing, and writing research I haven’t learned one thing yet. You know, I think the real problem behind all of this is how research is interpreted by some professors. With the issue of citation, I think it’s an important aspect to any research because it legitimize the student’s work, give credit where credit is due, and allows the reader to find the sources themselves, but I don’t think that citation is taught properly. A subject such as citation that carries so much weight in the research world is usually thrown at students rather then taught and developed over time. Well, at least that how it was in my case. The subject of college research is one that needs to be evaluated and reconsider because it is too tedious and restricted. There need to be a better way in how to go about academic writing. I applaud Barbara Fister for talking about this and even more so, I applaud her for her realistic suggestions. 




Great article! While reading it I couldn’t help to think where was this article when the class was duking it out over the memorable five-paragraph essay. This article would have definitely given us food for thought. Although I never heard of the Jane Schaffer Method I have to say I like some aspect of this method. In fact I didn’t know that such method existed, if I did I wouldn’t have waste so much time creating my own step by step writing formula for my ELL students. I think the Schaffer method definitely would work on struggling and ELL writers. I know because I had used and created something similar for my own students and I saw first hand the positive effects it had on some of my ELL students. Some students especially new comer not only lack the language for writing, but they lack the mechanics and structure to start the writing process.  Most times they don’t have that skill in their first language as well. In most cases you can’t really blame them because writing is considered one of the last skill an ELL student learns. But like I’ve said I’ve seen some positivity in step-by-step writing formulas. With such skills writing is definitely demystify and consistency is developed and students know what to do with a blank paper in front of them. But I also think that her method is a bit exaggerated. In one part of the article the author talks about having student check their writing for proper concrete details and commentary by counting words, sentence, and paragraph to meet that 1:2 ratio. For me I think that’s a little excessive. A writing formula should have a balance to it and students should be able to advance beyond it and also should not use it as a crutch for everything writing. I agree with James Collins when he said that, “when writing is taught as a formula, teachers are providing students only ‘declarative knowledge’ about writing.” He defines declarative knowledge as information about writing facts. Collins argues that aside from learning "declarative knowledge,” such as introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions, topic sentences supporting details and so on, students should also be taught two other kinds of knowledge: procedural and conditional. Procedural knowledge answers the question of how to accomplish a given task, and conditional knowledge answers the question of when to make a particular choice. Like I have mentioned before I like formula writing especially for struggling and ELL writers because it gives a foundation to work from. I myself have used and created them, however I don’t think it should be use for to long of a period, I also don’t think formulas should be restricted or should be followed to a tee because writing varies and students need to develop several strategies in identifying and dealing with variances in writing. 






The Concept of Control in Teacher Response (Straub) & Looking Back As We Look Forward (Yancey)


YetYet another powerful article about commenting on student’s paper. The tone of this article was a bit different from the others though. I thought this author had a lighter and almost humorous tone to his message. He began by saying that despite the expanded quote of our inquiry and deepen discussions that we have continue to look at responses in dualistic ways. He sates, “teacher commentary is either directive or facilitative, authoritative or collaborative, teacher-based or student-based.” In this article he tried to identify the focus and modes of comment styles labeled “directive” a controlling system and “facilitative” using the comments of known composition teachers. Straub begins by examining several teachers’ comments on students’ paper. Comparing these students’ papers he found that the teacher’s comments are highly controlling. Straub states, “The teacher, like an editor, freely marks up the writing-circling errors, underlining problem areas, and inserting corrections on the student's text.” He assert that the comments written on these student’s papers don’t tell the students what is wrong with their writing and what need to be change. Straub conclude that the more comment a teacher makes on student’s paper, the more controlling the teacher is likely to be. This applied more so to the teachers who make numerous specific comments on local matter. He also concluded that the more a teacher looks at student writing processes and tried to focus on the writer’s development and not the development of the specific text, the less likely the teacher is to point out specific changes in the text.
He went on to talk more about the different type of comments. For example he concluded that comments framed as corrections exert greater control over the student than criticism of the writing. He also added that praise comments are less controlling than criticism or commands because they place the teacher in the role of the appreciative reader.  However, they can decrease the teacher’s values and agenda and contain a certain degree of control over how the student views his/her own text and how she/ revises.
At the end Straub came to the conclusion that all l teacher’s comment regardless of their style or techniques are evaluative, but the question of how teachers exert their power over students still remain.


While reading this I had to pause a couple of time to make sure that I wasn’t rereading last week’s article “Writing Assessment in the 21stCentury, also by Yancey. It’s pretty much echo what she said in that previous article. In this article she also divides the history of writing assessment into three “waves.” The first wave (1950-1970) she states focused on objective, non-essay testing that prioritized “efficiency and reliability.” The second wave (1970-1986) which she claims moved towards holistic scoring of essays, based on rubrics and scoring guides first developed through ETS and AP. The third wave (1986-present) developed to include portfolios and larger, programmatic assessments. Yancey looks at these waves from several perspectives. One includes how the concepts of reliability and validity are viewed, the other is the local knowledge of the non-expert teacher. Again just like in the last article Yancey voices her concerns for the state of writing assessments. She also provides guidance on how to further practice in writing assessment.


The Concept of Control in Teacher Response (Straub) & Looking Back As We Look Forward (Yancey)


YetYet another powerful article about commenting on student’s paper. The tone of this article was a bit different from the others though. I thought this author had a lighter and almost humorous tone to his message. He began by saying that despite the expanded quote of our inquiry and deepen discussions that we have continue to look at responses in dualistic ways. He sates, “teacher commentary is either directive or facilitative, authoritative or collaborative, teacher-based or student-based.” In this article he tried to identify the focus and modes of comment styles labeled “directive” a controlling system and “facilitative” using the comments of known composition teachers. Straub begins by examining several teachers’ comments on students’ paper. Comparing these students’ papers he found that the teacher’s comments are highly controlling. Straub states, “The teacher, like an editor, freely marks up the writing-circling errors, underlining problem areas, and inserting corrections on the student's text.” He assert that the comments written on these student’s papers don’t tell the students what is wrong with their writing and what need to be change. Straub conclude that the more comment a teacher makes on student’s paper, the more controlling the teacher is likely to be. This applied more so to the teachers who make numerous specific comments on local matter. He also concluded that the more a teacher looks at student writing processes and tried to focus on the writer’s development and not the development of the specific text, the less likely the teacher is to point out specific changes in the text.
He went on to talk more about the different type of comments. For example he concluded that comments framed as corrections exert greater control over the student than criticism of the writing. He also added that praise comments are less controlling than criticism or commands because they place the teacher in the role of the appreciative reader.  However, they can decrease the teacher’s values and agenda and contain a certain degree of control over how the student views his/her own text and how she/ revises.
At the end Straub came to the conclusion that all l teacher’s comment regardless of their style or techniques are evaluative, but the question of how teachers exert their power over students still remain.


While reading this I had to pause a couple of time to make sure that I wasn’t rereading last week’s article “Writing Assessment in the 21stCentury, also by Yancey. It’s pretty much echo what she said in that previous article. In this article she also divides the history of writing assessment into three “waves.” The first wave (1950-1970) she states focused on objective, non-essay testing that prioritized “efficiency and reliability.” The second wave (1970-1986) which she claims moved towards holistic scoring of essays, based on rubrics and scoring guides first developed through ETS and AP. The third wave (1986-present) developed to include portfolios and larger, programmatic assessments. Yancey looks at these waves from several perspectives. One includes how the concepts of reliability and validity are viewed, the other is the local knowledge of the non-expert teacher. Again just like in the last article Yancey voices her concerns for the state of writing assessments. She also provides guidance on how to further practice in writing assessment.


Using Rubrics (Bean) & Writing Assessment in the Early 21st Century (Yancey)



 Bean begins the article by discussing the subjectivity of evaluation criteria. He states, professional writing teachers grant that the assessment of writing like any art, involves subjective judgments. But the situation is not entirely relative either, for communal standards for good writing can be formulated and readers with different tastes can be trained to assess writing samples with surprisingly high correlation. To illustrate  this argument Bean brought up Diederich research on composition in which he discover that a diverse group of readers could be trained to increase the correlation of their grading. Bean wrote, by setting descriptions for high, middle, and low achievement in each of the five criterion areas ---idea, organization, sentence structure, wording, and flavor. Bean wrote that Diederich was able to train readers to balance their assessments over the 5 criteria. Bean further adds that since then many researchers have refined or refocused Diederich’s criteria and have developed strategies for training readers as evaluators and for displaying criteria to students in the form of rubrics.  Further in the article Bean went on to talk about the different type of rubric used and their importance to evaluation and the evaluator.
I agree with Bean that rubrics are important because they clarify for students qualities their work should have and I like that he value rubric, but he did not mention how little some teachers use rubric over time. Some teachers would develop a rubric for a particular assignment and project and at the end of that project or assignment that’s the end of that. The rubric is not reused or applied in different areas. I think rubrics should be designed for repeated use, or used on several tasks. Students should be given a rubric at the beginning of an instruction. Then they should complete the work, receive feedback, practice, revise or do another task, continue to practice, and ultimately receive a grade all using the same rubric. I think this reinforce learning more than anything.




In this article Yancey discuss writing assessment and how it has changed and varied across different time periods. She begins by describing the first wave of writing assessment in the early century. She wrote that “testes” what assessment were referred to at the time were indirect measures, that is a test that sampled something related to but other than the individual student’s writing typically a multiple choice test of editing skills serving as a proxy for writing. She added the most important question in this first wave of writing assessment was informed by an ideology located in a machine-like efficiency characterizing the early part of the century. “Which measure can do the best and fairest job of prediction with the least amount of work and the lowest cost?”
Yancey also discussed the second wave of writing assessments. She states that this wave dated back to the 70s and 80s was prompted by the explosion of interest in writing process and new pedagogies enacting the field’s new understandings of process. Due to these new understanding holistic scoring was developed. Yancey wrote that this type of assessment relied on a direct measure, or sample, of good writing by developing and using scoring guide that provided a reliability analogous to the reliability of indirect measures, holistic scoring was able to meet the standard of consistent scoring. She further wrote, the questions about assessment dominating this period were very different, then, than those driving the first wave: what roles have validity and reliability played in writing assessment? Who is authorized and who has the appropriate expertise to make the best judgements---teachers or experts?
Yancey further discussed the third wave of writing assessments as occurring from the late 1980s up until the turn of the century. She stated that this wave was characterized by attention to multiple texts, the ways we read those texts, and the role of students in helping us understand their texts and the processes they used to produce them. The vehicle for practicing assessment keyed to these principles was typically a portfolio of writing. Yancey defined as a set of texts selected from a larger archive and narrated, contextualized, and explained by the student himself---or herself. During this period of writing assessment the question one was asking, “Whose needs does writing assessment serve? And “how is it a political and social act?” Yancey also talks about the current moment in writing assessments, but I thought her explanation of writing assessments throughout the different periods was interesting. Yancey not only provide a historical component to her argument, but she also includes the important questions that were raised by shifts in writing assessments in accordance with their time period.  






Using Rubrics (Bean) & Writing Assessment in the Early 21st Century (Yancey)



 Bean begins the article by discussing the subjectivity of evaluation criteria. He states, professional writing teachers grant that the assessment of writing like any art, involves subjective judgments. But the situation is not entirely relative either, for communal standards for good writing can be formulated and readers with different tastes can be trained to assess writing samples with surprisingly high correlation. To illustrate  this argument Bean brought up Diederich research on composition in which he discover that a diverse group of readers could be trained to increase the correlation of their grading. Bean wrote, by setting descriptions for high, middle, and low achievement in each of the five criterion areas ---idea, organization, sentence structure, wording, and flavor. Bean wrote that Diederich was able to train readers to balance their assessments over the 5 criteria. Bean further adds that since then many researchers have refined or refocused Diederich’s criteria and have developed strategies for training readers as evaluators and for displaying criteria to students in the form of rubrics.  Further in the article Bean went on to talk about the different type of rubric used and their importance to evaluation and the evaluator.
I agree with Bean that rubrics are important because they clarify for students qualities their work should have and I like that he value rubric, but he did not mention how little some teachers use rubric over time. Some teachers would develop a rubric for a particular assignment and project and at the end of that project or assignment that’s the end of that. The rubric is not reused or applied in different areas. I think rubrics should be designed for repeated use, or used on several tasks. Students should be given a rubric at the beginning of an instruction. Then they should complete the work, receive feedback, practice, revise or do another task, continue to practice, and ultimately receive a grade all using the same rubric. I think this reinforce learning more than anything.




In this article Yancey discuss writing assessment and how it has changed and varied across different time periods. She begins by describing the first wave of writing assessment in the early century. She wrote that “testes” what assessment were referred to at the time were indirect measures, that is a test that sampled something related to but other than the individual student’s writing typically a multiple choice test of editing skills serving as a proxy for writing. She added the most important question in this first wave of writing assessment was informed by an ideology located in a machine-like efficiency characterizing the early part of the century. “Which measure can do the best and fairest job of prediction with the least amount of work and the lowest cost?”
Yancey also discussed the second wave of writing assessments. She states that this wave dated back to the 70s and 80s was prompted by the explosion of interest in writing process and new pedagogies enacting the field’s new understandings of process. Due to these new understanding holistic scoring was developed. Yancey wrote that this type of assessment relied on a direct measure, or sample, of good writing by developing and using scoring guide that provided a reliability analogous to the reliability of indirect measures, holistic scoring was able to meet the standard of consistent scoring. She further wrote, the questions about assessment dominating this period were very different, then, than those driving the first wave: what roles have validity and reliability played in writing assessment? Who is authorized and who has the appropriate expertise to make the best judgements---teachers or experts?
Yancey further discussed the third wave of writing assessments as occurring from the late 1980s up until the turn of the century. She stated that this wave was characterized by attention to multiple texts, the ways we read those texts, and the role of students in helping us understand their texts and the processes they used to produce them. The vehicle for practicing assessment keyed to these principles was typically a portfolio of writing. Yancey defined as a set of texts selected from a larger archive and narrated, contextualized, and explained by the student himself---or herself. During this period of writing assessment the question one was asking, “Whose needs does writing assessment serve? And “how is it a political and social act?” Yancey also talks about the current moment in writing assessments, but I thought her explanation of writing assessments throughout the different periods was interesting. Yancey not only provide a historical component to her argument, but she also includes the important questions that were raised by shifts in writing assessments in accordance with their time period.