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Full Drafts/Peer Review Blog #11 (Part 2)

Jeanne: Directions: What inspires you? Use the crayons and markers in front of you and use what inspires you to write in the form of a picture. Different colors could mean different emotions. You have 15 minutes. When your time is up, answer the following questions:

  1. What happened when you used your coloring for inspiration?
  2. How can you use these emotions in your writing?
  3. Do you think students should have access to more activities that spark creativity?
  4. Going forward, what activities will you do to spark enthusiasm in your writing?

Serken: What makes someone believable? Is it the color they are wearing or the way they speak? Living in the age of technology where anyone can be anybody or say something, we (the general population) believes it is true. There are three images that made me think about how fake news can cause uncertainty and an overwhelming amount of anxiety. There seems to be a rapid force of fake news that can’t stop, which is dangerous for the up and coming generation.

Christina: Activity: Let’s Play a Game!

  • Directions: Read the following paragraph and then write it in your voice. It could be your dialect, how you speak with your friends, how you speak at home, or how you write in your personal journal. Then, write the same paragraph in a voice that you feel like is your “academic voice”, a voice that is acceptable in a classroom setting. Then answer these questions:
  1. What differences do you see?
  2. Did you feel comfortable writing the paragraph in your own voice?
  3. Did you feel comfortable writing the paragraph in your academic voice?
  4. Do you wish you could write in your own voice more?
  5. Finally, do you feel as if you, as a student, are offered many opportunities in the classroom do write in your own voice? Should you be allowed those opportunities? And do you think that will help or hurt your academic writing?

Darlene: Article: Responding to Student Writing by Nancy Sommers

Teachers just need to be reminded of how to properly comment on a student’s paper.

  1. Teachers comments can take students’ attention away from their own purposes in writing a particular text and focus that attention on the teachers’ purpose in commenting.
  2. Most teachers’ comments are not text-specific and could be interchanged, rubber-stamped, from text to text.
  • Our comments need to be suited to the draft we are reading (154).
  • The key to successful commenting is to have what is said in the comments and what is done in the classroom mutually reinforce and enrich each other (154).

The image below: From theory to practice.


Vee: The use of language in the normal American classroom setting is more complicated then it seems to be.

I have a strong passion for students who have an unfair disadvantage in the classroom from any circumstance.

Paul Kei Matsuda, the author of the article “Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World: Second Language Writing in Composition Studies” (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5–sMS-4u43fnFiOHBMVzJjSW1lLVJDN3V3YXVIcXZzNmstdUxNXzQ5eWl2SUlQVVo3NVE).

There is a growing population of second language speakers and writers in the U.S. Unfortunately, there are not enough classes being brought into the education system to help these second language writers grow to their full potential. This issue has been overlooked many times, and I can say personally because it has happened to me. Before I discuss that more in depth, there were two main points to the importance of this article that Matsuda brings up.

  1. “This chapter provides an overview of some of the historical developments related to the status of second language writing issues in composition studies while providing a sense of state of the art.” -Matsuda (37)
  2. “For the purpose of this chapter, I focus on writing in English as a second language in the context of North American higher education particularly in the disciplinary context of composition studies.” -Matsuda (37)

Matsuda also gives two reasons as to why there is a lack of attention to these language issues, and that would be the “disciplinary division of labor” and the “myth of linguistic homogeneity.” The last important point that he talks about is how globalization, (global integration of international trade, investments, information, technology, and cultures), is a critical factor that connects to teaching second language writing. Globalization could be used to teach writing in various fields such as professional or civic that expands beyond academic writing. That is important because second language writing can be taught passed the U.S. and should be international, which Matsuda discusses later in his article.

A new term that I learned from this article was “generation 1.5”, which is a term to describe people who came to the U.S. as children and adolescents. Generation 1.5 is the group that is more difficult to grasp learning English writing and the English language as a whole. I even learned that there was a debate over what is considered a second language and what is considered a difference in dialect. One of the varieties of English that were mentioned was African American Vernacular. I have never heard of that term until I entered Graduate School. That is when I realized that I grew up in a home where we spoke “African American Vernacular” but was never considered a second language speaker. However, my writing and bad grammar were always pointed out by my teachers and professors. An example of a second language speaker who speaks a form of English that even English speakers wouldn’t even understand would be from a television show, “A Different World.”

“A Different World” is a television show from the 80s and early 90s about college students who attend Hillman College, which is an HBCU (Historical Black College/University). One of the characters from the show, Lena James, speaks “African American Vernacular” and had trouble understanding “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare in her First-Year English class. Until she realized, it was all about translation. In the clip above, she was able to take an English language and translate it into another form of English, one of which is her native language. This all ties into what Matsuda said about translation. He states, “The use of translation is also a possible resource for second language writers; although the effectiveness of translation as a writing strategy can vary depending on the writer’s second language proficiency level (Kobayashi and Rinnert), it can allow second language writers to tap into the knowledge base they have already developed in another language” (40).

Another main issue that second language writers have is that they have limited exposure to what is considered the correct use of the English language and formal written English, which means that it is harder for them to develop their writing proficiency in U.S. English compared to people who grew up learning the U.S. formal English. Although having these lack of resources is one of the cons that second language writers have, they also have a pro. “Others suggest that second language writers may have expanded their intellectual capacity as a result of the constant demand of working with a broader range of linguistic and discursive resources” (Matsuda, 40).

An interesting point that Matsuda brought up that I never thought about before is the level of difficulty bringing this issue to the classroom is because of the teachers. The teacher should have a balanced knowledge of English and second language writers, which many teachers don’t have. Besides globalization, internationalization is a crucial key factor in bringing this issue to our education system. Internationalization, however, requires the need to travel to other countries and then come back to the U.S. and share their research with their fellow scholars. I believe everyone should study abroad or travel if you are going to become a teacher, professor, or scholar. When I studied abroad when I came back to the U.S. my thinking and knowledge towards my education and other college students expanded.

Matsuda has a suggestion as to how to internationalize the field, “U.S. composition specialists need to learn more about sociolinguistic and institutional contexts of other countries. Before trying to reach out to others, however, U.S. composition studies many need to come to terms with the issues of globalization and multilingualism within its own institutional contexts” (Matsuda, 51). I hope that anyone who read this article was able to learn something new about second language writing and the effect it has on students and teachers.

“The Beginning is the End is the Beginning”

*Warning: This is a very long blog because I read the directions wrong and read all three articles instead of picking just one. I did a lot of work on it so…enjoy! (Again, so sorry!)*

“As writers, we need and want thoughtful commentary to show us when we have communicated our ideas and when not, raising questions from a reader’s point of view that may not have occurred to us as writers. We want to know if our writing has communicated our intended meaning and, if not, what questions or discrepancies our readers see that we, as writers, are blind to.” (Nancy Sommers, 148)


  • Using Rubrics to Develop and Apply Grading Criteria: John C. Bean


Purpose: Help instructors articulate their expectations for papers early on and to determine their grading standards in advance of an assignment.

Rubrics. Rubrics is something that I have never “liked.” In my honest opinion, I never found it helpful or useful. Using a red pen to make giant circles around numbers with vague descriptions in each category that determines my grade has always been a puzzle to me. I do understand that a rubric is more of a guide for teachers to stay organized and give fair grades to their students. Author of this article, John C. Bean, gives a more clear reasoning as to why teachers use rubrics. Bean suggests the idea of planning grading criteria along with communicating the criteria clearly to the students, then there will be a better chance of coaching, commenting, and aiding papers. Also, Bean described the various types of rubrics, which is something I thought was interesting. (All information provided from Bean, 270-276).

  1. Analytic vs. Holistic: The analytical method gives separate scores for each criterion, for example, ideas, organization, use of evidence, attention to alternative views, sentence structure-whereas the holistic method gives one score that reflects the reader’s overall impression of the paper, considering all criteria at once.
  2. Generic vs. Task-Specific: Generic rubrics follow one-size-fits-all designs, aimed for use across a variety of writing tasks. As much as possible they try to be universal. In contrast, task-specific rubrics are designed to fit an individual assignment or genre.
  3. Different Methods of Describing Performance Levels: The most common approach gradually ‘steps down’ the descriptors from level to level (in this case, six levels) to indicate different degrees of performance or merit. Typical step-down language includes terms such as there: always, usually, some of the time, rarely, fully, adequately, partially, minimally, high or broad, adequate, limited, and very limited.
  4. Grids vs. No Grids: Some teachers want to explain their grading criteria to students but avoid the constraints of grids and specific descriptors that may seem overly positivist and prescriptive. Instead of specific descriptors for each criterion, this teacher simply presents each criterion as a question, leaving blank space in which to write brief comments explaining the student’s numerical score for each criterion.

One of the last important sections of this article was how determining grades can worry a teacher and then effecting how they grade a paper. “Teachers who worry that low grades can affect students’ psyche, motivation, scholarship eligibility, or career options or who fear that low grades may influence student evaluations of their teachers are often satisfied with a lower bar” (Bean, 288). To have fairness and fewer worry feelings, the idea of grading papers before they know which student wrote it. By not knowing who wrote the paper, there is no room for bias.

  1. Teacher-Writers: Then, Now, and Next: Anne Elrod Whitney

Purpose: Reflect upon ‘the teacher as writer” and describe how we see this concept and movement developing. We articulate a view of the teacher-writer as empowered advocate. Using examples from our scholarship, we illustrate how this powerful idea can transform research conducted about and with teachers. Finally, we draw attention to the potential of the teacher-writer stance as a means of resistance to current reform efforts that disempower teachers.

Having the idea of reflecting on the history, present, and future status of teachers is a compelling thought and was well written by Anne Elrod Whitney. She presents three phases of the development of the teacher-writer.

  1. The writing process phase (the 1970s and 1980s): Promoted teachers as writers about process-oriented pedagogy and the rise of the writing workshop.
  2. The teacher research phase (the 1990s and 2000s): Writing about inquiry as a mode of professional development and generating useful knowledge.
  3. Currently, teachers as advocates and intellectuals: The context for teaching has been affected by privatization and standardization-forces that de-authorize teachers while emphasizing market forces as engines of educational innovation.

Writing and teaching go hand in hand, which I believe can easily go unnoticed.

I sum up this article as “the transformation of the developing teacher.”

  1. Responding to Student Writing: Nancy Sommers

Purpose: Comments create the motive for doing something different in the next draft; thoughtful comments create the motive for revising. Without comments from their teachers or from their peers, student writers will revise in a consistently narrow and predictable way. Without comments from readers, students assume that their writing has communicated their meaning and perceive no need for revising the substance of their text (Sommers, 149).

Another look into the deep waters of commenting on students’ papers gave me another opportunity to see both sides of the spectrum, the teacher and the student. (Thank you to Nancy Sommers for another great read). As a current student, I connect with the points made in this article about what students go through when it comes to revising their papers. However, understanding a teacher’s difficulty of trying to have a student create the best work they can without steering them in the wrong direction and allowing them to lose focus on the purpose of their paper. In high school and my first writing courses in college, I felt that the papers I wrote were for my professors, not for my learning experience. If my paper pleased the teacher, then I would be satisfied and then get my “teacher pleased grade.” When I would have the classes where my professor gave me comments on my paper that made me want to revise and do my best, it felt like a holiday. After reading this article, I found that teachers just need to be reminded of how to properly comment on a student’s paper. (Very simple).

Sommers presents research about how teachers and their comments on students’ papers change how they write.

  1. Teachers comments can take students’ attention away from their own purposes in writing a particular text and focus that attention on the teachers’ purpose in commenting.
  2. Most teachers’ comments are not text-specific and could be interchanged, rubber-stamped, from text to text.

Since students follow the comments written on their papers, the errors may be fixed, but their papers are not improved and sometimes become worse when it comes to their second and third drafts, doing the opposite effect of revising. Another problem that Sommers emphasize is the use of vague language. “Choose precise language” or “think more about your audience” is a couple of examples that Sommers states are used when teachers comment on a student’s paper. She then claims this turns into a “guessing game” instead of a clear purpose of what needs to be changed and worked on.

What teachers need to take away is, “our comments need to offer students revision tasks of a different order of complexity and sophistication from the ones that they identify, by forcing students back into the chaos, back to the point where they are shaping and restructuring their meaning” (Sommers, 154). Some other important points that Sommers made were:

  • Our comments need to be suited to the draft we are reading (154).
  • The key to successful commenting is to have what is said in the comments and what is done in the classroom mutually reinforce and enrich each other (154).

Below, I sketched out how I think comments should be made on different drafts. Of course, I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the teaching side of the table, but this article inspired me to create my own guide to future grading criteria for my students’ papers.


Rough Draft for Potluck Dish

Jeanne Donohue Rough Draft Potluck Project   Due: 11/26/18

Generating a spark of enthusiasm in writing students using the theoretical framework of Murray as a starting place. (And Selfe as a reference).

In class emphasis on pre-writing. Colored markers or pens should be scattered and chosen by student. Seating options other than desks. Pick a different environment. The floor. The hall. The lounge. Outside. The point is to stimulate the senses.


  • Collect a folder of images that resonate for you. Each student should have 8-10 pieces in their folder. They can include clips from magazines, photos, artwork, both figurative and abstract. Small pieces of text can be included. Some days random images will be passed out.
  • Structured freewriting every class. Pick a lens through which to look at individual images. For example: identify mood, sensuous components, color, lines and shapes, auditory components, texture, movement, framing, story. Where does the image begin and end? Who is the viewer. Does the person in the image know they are there?
  • Describe in detail the entirety of the image to someone that cannot see it or the auditory vibrations to someone who cannot hear. Experiment with going from broadest detail to smallest (In the US, In NY, In the city, Midtown, in a building on the top floor, etc) and then reverse the sequence. Start from smallest most intimate detail and work outward.
  • Generate details through dialogue. Write about one of your images through whatever the free write prompt is. Exchange images with your partner and do the same free write prompt only with their image.
  • Find a song that fits with one of your images.
  • Create a soundscape with three layers. Share with an audience of at least three people. Pass out colored markers or pens and collect written feedback.



  • Pick at least three of your images and connect them in a cohesive way. The possibilities are endless. The form is open, and to be determined by the individual. Suggestions can be made if the student is interested in feedback.



  • Each draft will be met with peer review. Class time will be allotted for three in class peer reviews. Class time will be devoted to how feedback is given. In addition, office hours are available and suggested for teacher review. All final drafts will be handed in for grading at the end of the semester.


“Excludes the recursive shaping of thought by language.”p.378

The importance of repeating words in order to digest them


Started thinking about contribution to Christina’s Dish:

What is communicated in the in-between words of informal speech? The umms, and uuhs

Similar to the nonmanual markers of ASL?

Respecting Rhetorical Sovereignty

This week we read an essay entitled, “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing,” by Cynthia L. Selfe.


The main argument of the essay explores the binary relationship of aurality and writing and the limitations of this understanding in excluding multimodal rhetorical activity(p. 616). Cynthia Selfe traces the history of composition and the development of a single-minded focus on print, which in her opinion has led us to become a culture “saturated by written word.” She explains that sound is undervalued as a composition mode and aurality has become subsumed by and defined in opposition to writing. Selfe declares this a false binary which encourages a narrow understanding of language and literacy. As she clarifies, this should not be an either-or argument. We should encourage students to develop expertise with all available means of persuasion and expression.

I loved the reference to the importance of sonic environments for college students and the irony of the deafening silence faced by the English composition teacher when inviting the class to engage in discussion. I am very interested in this place as a jumping off spot for research and investigation. It is a fantastic door into the lives of the student. Also, the clarity that in most classrooms, as a result of this suffocating silence the dynamic becomes about speech expected to happen on cue. I like the reference to “guessing my conclusion quizzes(p 633).”

Remind teachers of the integrated nature of Language Arts. Hamilton (the musical)is an excellent example of integrated Language Arts. Ultimately it is another telling of the same old American history. It is an incredible integration of modalities and expression, and so sonically charged. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEHKBckBcr4

I appreciated the historical look at this transition. Historically there was more of a balance. “Facility in oral face to face encounters were considered the hallmark of an educated class(p.622).” Michael Halloran offers that curriculum included: reading speak, write classical language and through recitation but also standard oratorical performances: debate, orations, and declamations. The transition came with the rise of industrial manufacturing and an emphasis on specialization. The last half of the nineteenth century, departments of English became refocused around preparing professionals. Emphasis shifted to the importance of science. Therefore, “the recorded word: the visual trace of evidence provided proof and observations rendered in the visual medium of print revealed the truth (p 622).”

  • Writing became a silent process in the classroom

Hibbits observed: the most important meta-lesson became how to sit, write and read in contented quiet p623. This lesson translated into the silencing of voice and reliance on voice metaphors. The remediation of voice as a characteristic of written prose. (p630) These are such interesting points and clarify something that has been irking me. The voice metaphor is misleading in that it implies sound. I have been unable to articulate my frustration with why the metaphor ends up feeling one dimensional. Selfe shines a light on the flatness and why it is so. It’s the voice we don’t want to hear.

I loved the statement attributed to Gunther Kress: “Control over communication and over the means of representation is, as always, a field in which power is exercised (p641).” There is so much in this statement. Words and expression are power. It can be overt and dominant or,  subverted and resistant. Historically, oppression and resistance concerning composition has taken many twists and turns. Writing and reading are skills that have been used as a form of exclusion at various times to gender and race. I appreciated the opposite side also.  Literacy can be a form of resistance to oppression, and also marginalized groups can resist the literacy practices of a dominant culture by maintaining oral traditions (p 624). “Complex and community-based responses to imperialism and Euroamerican mainstream” p624

I loved the conclusion. We need to understand their motivated attempts of students to communicate with one another and ultimately respect the rhetorical sovereignty of young people from different backgrounds.

One of the biggest takeaways for me was from P633: Jeff Sommers (Mellen and Sommers). “Giving recorded oral feedback gave students a walking tour through their texts as if a reader were conversing with them and the words themselves. Meaning is revealed through tone, pacing, emphasis. I loved the description of verbal feedback and how students experienced it. I am midway through working with two groups of students in my theater program and decided to practice a different kind of verbal feedback with them at the halfway point. In the past, they only receive written feedback at the end. They were so excited about this “walking tour” of the semester. It is a structure that I will continue to build on in the future.


This essay reminded me of the work by Christine Sun Kim. She is a deaf visual artist on a mission to claim sound for herself. Her work is beautiful, vibrant and another great example of multiple modalities to support expression. “Sound is a Ghost”




I want to follow up on these people:

  • Look up Diana George (oral exchanges considered as semiotic texts) & Manual Catells
  • Noted the reference again to the importance of Lev Vygotsky: 1962 the developmental relationship between speech and writing birth of the trend for 60’s-80’s to define writing in opposition to speech
  • Jeff Sommers (Mellen and Sommers)



Semiotics: the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.

Daxa: common belief always maintains its strongest hold in the absence of multiple historical and cultural perspectives.

Imbricate: arrange so that they overlap like roof tiles.

Tendential: having or showing a tendency or bias

Logocentric: regarding words and language as a fundamental expression of an external reality









Getting Closer to the End

Final Project:
Selective Truth/Fake News (Draft)

Truth is often what we make of it. Even the very definition of the word itself reveals its subjective nature. Truth is fact or belief that is accepted as true, and not everyone believes in the same think. Different beliefs and alternative interpretations of something considered a fact tend to create frictions among people, especially in sensitive topics such as politics. We often hear the saying, “that person speaks so much truth” but that truth is only one perspective out of many.

Paul Pardi talks about the elusiveness of truth in his article, What is Truth?, and claims “our perspective will even influence our ability to come up with a definition” for it. He asks the question: “if we decide that no one can get to what is true, what good is the definition?”Discovering the proper definition of what truth is requires us to be independent from the individual and subjectivity. It is important to make a distinction between truth and access to the truth. A fact is based on a scientific model for its discernment and collated to resemble a truth in objective matter. How this result is perceived depends on the perception of the individual. Though, it is quite difficult for many to accept the existence of truth independent of their own world view. Then, the question that everyone begins to ask is: “fact according to whom?”

If truth is “centered only in what an individual experiences”, then only a general consensus can help define the concept of truth for that individual. It is a common human nature to find others who agree or accept the reality just as we personally do. That strengthens our own belief on what is a fact and what is not. This could be very efficient but it could also be extremely dangerous. Many people who study psychology often claim that our minds are molded out of those who are around us as we experience the reality. However, we no longer depend on those people since we now have the access to social media where we can find others who actually share the same beliefs as we do.

Think about someone who attempts to make a joke. If people laugh, then that person becomes certain that his or her sense of humor is great. If they don’t laugh, then perhaps that person needs to work on it and develop a better sense. This natural method of growth or development is robbed from many individuals, especially young ones, due to existence of social media. They can now simply find people who will choose to laugh at their “great” sense of humor and they do not ever need to work on it. In our modern day of social media centered existence, the concept of truth has become a choose-your-own-adventure-book type of discovery. If you agree with this particular notion, go to [insert twitter handle]. If you disagree with it, go to [insert a different twitter handle]. If you neither agree nor disagree, go to twitter and start a new handle (why not?).

There is also the bias that comes with the common truth. A study of behavior based on common interests display the innate… (To Be Continued)
Source of the article mentioned: https://www.philosophynews.com/post/2015/01/29/What-is-Truth.aspx

I still need to find the independent video of portraying the study mentioned in the last paragraph but here’s a coverage of similar psychological test by CNN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EoNYklyShs
Some early ideas of contribution for other themes/topics:

Language of Politics

A sample of class discussion (or perhaps even a video) that portrays the subtle use of language. I could write a personal interpretation on what is being displayed.

Voice and Identity

I can write about an exercise that I was thinking about conducting in writing class. I was not so sure if it would work or not, but perhaps I can talk about it as a suggestion or simply as a topic of discussion.

Sparking Interest or Enthusiasm in Class

I can talk about my own personal experiences that relate to the main write-up. As a way of backing up the claims made in it by providing personal examples.

Also, here’s an early proof of concept (not final) of what the main page could potentiality look like:


“Aurality”…Say that Three Times Fast

“Participation means being able to speak in one’s own voice, and thereby simultaneously to construct and express one’s cultural identity through idiom and style” -Nancy Fraser, “Rethinking the Public Sphere.”


The author of this article, Cynthia L. Selfe, successfully composed a well-stated problem and solutions to something that I have thought about for years. With her strong voice and opinions supported by research, Selfe demands that teachers and scholars broaden their minds to a world outside the traditional writing pen to paper in a classroom. The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing(https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.dmacinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/selfe-aurality-composing.pdf), is a pot full of ideas, opinions, statements, research, and examples of how the classroom has shifted into a multimodal environment. There were also a few surprises in this article as well that I will elaborate more on later. I was thoroughly impressed that an educator and scholar could have such a “colorful” mind. I am using “colorful” as a way to describe her not overlooking people of color who have suffered in the American education system. Selfe made it clear what her intentions were for this article. She is not telling the reader what to do but suggesting and guiding. She also explains the history of aurality and how that has changed in the classroom setting. Here are her three main points:

  1. I argue that the relationship between aurality (and visual modalities) and writing have limited our understanding of composing as a multimodal rhetorical activity and has thus, deprived students of valuable semiotic resources for making meaning. (Also the history of writing in the U.S. composition instruction).
  2. A single-minded focus on print in composition classrooms ignores the importance of aurality and other composing modalities for making meaning and understanding the world.
  3. I suggest that the almost exclusive dominance of print legacy works against the interests of individuals whose cultures and communities have managed to maintain value on multiple modalities of expression, multiple and hybrid ways of knowing, communicating, and establishing identity.

Her suggestion for this problem: “I suggest we need to pay attention to both writing and aurality, and other composing modalities, as well. I hope to encourage teachers to develop an increasingly thoughtful understanding of a whole range of modalities and semiotic resources in their assignments and then to provide students the opportunities of developing expertise with all available means of persuasion and expression, so that they can function as literate citizens in a world where communications cross geopolitical, cultural, and linguistic borders and are enriched rather than diminished by semiotic dimensionality”

(Selfe, 617-618).

She states that race, gender, and class all play crucial roles when it comes to this issue. Such as male (white) children receiving the best education resulting in them becoming statesmen, ministers, and high in the legal field. On the other end of the spectrum, women and people of color received poor education and majority of the time, no education at all. “Many black citizens were denied access to schools with adequate resources and other had to abandon their own formal education to help their families survive the economic hardships that continued to characterize the lives of blacks in both the North and the South (Hibbitts). (Selfe, 624). The sad part of this statement is that this is still an ongoing issue. What I thought was interesting was how Selfe demands that more respect comes in the classrooms when it comes to people from a different class, gender, or race besides the “acceptable” and “normal” white, the male student in the U.S.

One of the last parts of this article that caught my attention was this: “In 1973, Wilson Snipes investigated the hypothesis that ‘orientation to an oral culture has helped cause a gradual decrease in student ability to handle written English in traditionally acceptable ways’, citing ‘haphazard punctuation,’ ‘loose rambling style,’ and ‘diminutive vocabulary’, writing that is ‘superficial, devoid of subtle distinctions,’ and thought that remains ‘fixed in a larval state’ (629-630). Hopefully, my question will be answered in class on Monday, and my question is what does that mean exactly?

Selfe encourages the value of a multimodal classroom environment. Teachers should pay more attention to how writing and teaching writing comes in various forms. Today’s world is constantly changing. There needs to be respect represented in the classroom for other cultures, backgrounds, and class. Lastly, she emphasizes how teachers feel they do not have enough time in with their students to create a balanced learning environment that involves a multimodal platform. How should that problem be solved? 

Final Project Sketch

Jeanne: I had an idea of using coloring or art to spark enthusiasm in the students in the writing classroom. I love music as well, so I was also thinking about using music. Create a mashup of two songs. One that you love and one that you can’t stand and see what happens. Do you feel differently about the song? How did the feeling of comparing and contrast feel and how would you use that for your writing?

Serken: There is a “trend” going around of girls using the “black girl” as a cosplay costume instead of realizing that being a black female is a not a costume. They are human beings. However, when they post themselves of them in their “cosutme”, they can easily pass as a person of color. These girls post these photos on Instagram and Twitter causing others to fantasize and others low self-esteem.

Christina: I was thinking about using my own writing maybe for this section. My “voice” was never accepted when it came to writing and identity in the classroom. I am still trying to work this one out. I could use some feedback and class on how to go about this section.

Darlene: *Subject to change* I was thinking about using some of the articles from class for this section, depending on what the subject is. However, I am sure that the topic that is chosen will link well with the articles I had in mind. Articles about revision and rewriting in the classroom.

Vee: For my section, I would like to include videos and images to express my concern for the politics of language in a basic classroom. Along with those images and videos, I would insert a small blurp underneath giving a description on why I believe this is relatable to my topic. I will base this all on my own experience of dealing with the unawareness I had with the politics of language in my learning environment. For that, I will use the example I used this semester with Lena from “A Different World”.

Revision Strategies… Blog post 9

The article Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers by Nancy Sommers discusses the different models of the writing process. Her focus primarily is on the revision part of the writing process. In the article, she describes revision as ” a sequence of changes in a composition-changes which are initiated by cues and occur continually throughout the writing of a work” (pg. 380). She presents two other theories of revision from educators Gordon Rohman and James Britton.

  • Gordon Rohman’s suggest that the composting process moves
    from prewriting to writing to rewriting (“A writer is a man who … puts [his] experience into words in his own mind”-p. 15)
  • James Britton’s model of the  writing process as a series of stages described in metaphors of linear growth (conception-incubation-production)v

Revision, in Rohman’s model, is simply the repetition of writing; or to pursue Britton’s organic metaphor, revision is simply the further growth of what is already there the “pre-conceived” product. The absence of research on revision, then, is a function of a theory of writing which makes revision both superfluous and redundant, a theory which does not distinguish between writing and speech. (pg.379)

Both theories are modeled on the forms of speech of the writer. In order to properly analyze these theories of writing, Sommers conducts a case study comparing student and adult writers.

The student writers were twenty freshmen at Boston University and the University of Oklahoma with SAT verbal scores ranging from 450-600 in their first semester of composition. The twenty ex-perienced adult writers from Boston and Oklahoma City included journalists, editors, and academics. To refer to the two groups, I use the terms student writers and writers because the difference between these experienced principal two groups is the amount of experience they have had in writing. (pg 380)

These two groups of writers were asked to write three essays and revise it twice for a final product. The results showed that the student writers “did not seem comfortable using the word revision and explained that revision was not a word they used” (pg. 380). The experienced writers, on the other hand, “describe their primary objective when revising as finding the form or shape of their argument” (pg. 384)

Her article further discuss these two models of the revision process and the different approach of both groups of writers. This article is important in the context of teaching writing because it is a very important process that all students must learn and teachers should teach students the best ways to revise their work.

Read the Article Here   

I agree with Serkan’s idea of fake news as a theme for the class group project. I think it is an important part of the class research as well as its opportunity to be creative.  We can each present a fake news and discuss its relationship to teaching students in the classroom.

Creative and Functional: Revision vs. Rewriting

Every writer, whether student or professional, has a process for the journey from ideas to finished product. How the writer learns and interacts with that process is the topic discussed in both Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers by Nancy Sommers as well as Teaching Writing as Process Not Product, by Donald Murray. Both pieces provide insight and inspiration collected through many years of experience.

Nancy Sommers led Harvard’s Expository Writing Program for 20 years and established the Harvard Writing Project. She is a renowned researcher and the author of several books on compositional studies. In Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers, Nancy Sommers outlines several theorists that support writing as a linear process connected mainly to the function of oration. She then takes the reader through the portal of her case study which investigates the relationship to revision in student and experienced writers.

The essay outlines the significant distinctions that contrast approaches to the stages of writing in student writers verses experienced adult writers. The students tended toward a “thesaurus philosophy of writing[1],” with their main focus on cleaning up the word choices and checking for redundancy. The thesis statement was acting as a cage with a suffocating component rather than a structure on which to build. On the other hand, the experienced writers tended toward a relationship with revision that was not linear, allowing and inviting each change impact the whole. The process involved honing the argument and refining lines of reasoning. It often engaged the perceived reader as a collaborator as the writer transforms the content into a thesis. The thesis is part of the evolution of the product becoming a structure on which to build further. The reader arrives soundly on the other side; with the understanding that revision is not just a rewording activity. Through the work accomplished in this case, study Sommers redefined revision as “a sequence of changes in a composition. Changes which are initiated by cues and occur continually throughout the writing of a work[2].”

Donald Murray was a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and columnist for The Boston Globe. He was a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire for twenty-six years as well as a writing coach for several national newspapers. Donald Murray’s mission was to demystify the process of writing. He explored the habits, processes, and practices of writers and took seriously his role of the coach; generously sharing his findings. Murray divides the writing process into three distinct stages: prewriting, writing and rewriting[3]. Although his outline follows the seemingly linear format that Sommers’ critiques, Murray’s presentation of the process is anything but linear.

Murray adds and emphasizes the human touch of the teacher. He presents the importance of the educator’s role in influencing the relationship a student develops to their writing. An educator must consistently redirect and re-engage the student in the process of seeking out their truth. Murray encourages the reader to teach process not product and create curriculums from this vantage point. He places listening and interaction at the heart of compositional studies and reveals ten implications of teaching in this style which include student-driven text, unique subjects and language, multiple drafts as needed, creativity and functionality side by side, individual exploration, alternatives without limitation, time, mechanics and in the end a grade. Murray emphasizes the importance of time and space to allow a process to unfold before completing a final product. Even then, the writer is never finished.

Although I found Nancy Sommers’ case study very interesting as a starting place, it fell short for me in several regards. I would argue that the variables were only subjectively distinguished. In separating groups by age and experience, many other questions were opened and left unaddressed. I would like to test long-term studies to see what stages are contingent on the development of the frontal lobe of the brain and a result of matured executive functioning. I would also like to track more specific distinctions in learning style using the seven different styles that have been outlined by Mainemelis, Boyatzis, and Kolb: visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary[4]. Working with a similar process to Sommers, I would like to analyze data through the lens of these learning categories.

I would also like to find a way to isolate the significance of mentorship and coaching in the development of writers from student to experienced writer. Inherent in Sommers’ study is the idea of making independent writers. Relationship to the teacher is implied, but not directly connected to the data. Murray emphasized this component in his work. I believe mentorship and human interaction is a vital part of the process is. That is where the art of teaching comes in to play. Even in a classroom setting each writer can and should be addressed as an individual with a unique process. I believe this is what Murray meant when he said: “respect the student .” By nature, students are result/goal oriented. It’s the nature of the education system because grades have been an essential way to codify and measure learning.

In some ways, I think the process is just as it should be. Every so often each learner comes upon a mentor that shifts the process from autopsy to a living and connected experience. These moments are magical, precious and select. I always heard that it takes ten years to no longer be a beginner at anything. In my experience, writing has stages to pass through. I see each stage as a rite of passage each time I go through the process. I love the loose way that Murray outlines the stages and then infuses the personal touch.

Questions about the content of the articles:

1). Maturity is progressive, and executive functioning develops as the frontal lobe of the brain matures. For most this process continues into the mid or late twenties. Perhaps to teach these more evolved forms of “revision” will create more opportunity for stress and frustration. Is the linear process necessary for young writers to become the more developed experienced writer?

2). Regarding inspiring student writers. How much of that is the teacher’s responsibility and how much the student’s responsibility to be present, open, and engaged?

3). The question of time. How much of it is a lack of time?

4). Is the problem the fact that students think it is supposed to be easy? How do we teach process without suffocating creativity? How do you inspire? How do you engage? How do you find the “truth?”



[1] Sommers, N. (1982). Responding to Student Writing. College Composition and Communication, 33(2), 148-156. doi:10.2307/357622 p381

[2] Sommers, N. (1982). Responding to Student Writing. College Composition and Communication, 33(2), 148-156. doi:10.2307/357622 p. 381

[3] Villanaueva, Victor. Cross-Talk In Comp Theory. A Reader. Urbana, Illinois. “Teaching Writing as Process Not Product.” Donald Murray.

[4] Mainemelis, C., Boyatzis, R. E., & Kolb, D. A. (2002). Learning Styles and Adaptive Flexibility: Testing Experiential Learning Theory. Management Learning33(1), 5–33. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350507602331001


Further reading that I would like to connect to these two essays:

  • James Zull


  • Learning styles:


  • Cassidy:



Regarding end of they year group project:

I love the idea that seems to be settling of a potluck website. My understanding is that we each pick a theme to submit and then everyone will make an entry on each of the themes.

The theme I would like to put forth is the idea of inspiring students to write and revise. I am interested in how each person in our class would present an assignment that leaves the space and time that Murray referred to in his essay. How would you create an assignment that both leaves room for a search for the truth and develops the skill of mechanics and argument simultaneously. So the assignment should have room for three revisions as Sommers presented in her study.





Revising a Journey

Reading the articles, Teach Writing As a Process Not Product and Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers, by Donald Murray and Nancy Sommers respectively, made me visualize an analogy of sort. The message that the articles attempt to share is basically allowing students use the language as a tool to discover themselves. The writing process in itself should be a reflection of their personalities and views on life; understanding who they really are. Therefore, an analogy such as the following could be made from it:

There is an inexperienced guide who wishes to make a trip into an unknown region. He believes that making a solo trip will allow him to earn the experience he needs in order to become a real and dependable guide. Based on what he knows, also on his own intuition and expectations of what is to come, he begins to make the necessary preparations for it. He could visualize his journey; an informative experience consist of trials and hardships out in the wilderness. A backpack full of important items, a sleeping bag, and even a walking stick are all included in his list of ideal components.

The first steps of the journey make him excited, as well as pretty nervous. He considers the possibility of failing in his quest but manages to find the courage to continue. A lot of effort is required of him. He treks through an unknown land full of forests, hills, and streams. He makes mistakes along the way, such as taking the wrong turns or following the wrong trails, but he figures out the perfect path to reach the destination; the farthest reach of the land. He begins to realize that the journey is a self-discovery of his own nature in actuality and the path-finding aspect is only an incentive. He keeps a paper with drawings and notes on it. As he discovers more paths and signs, he jots down more notes or discards others. Eventually, he makes it to the end of his journey and recalls his full experience for one final reflection of his achievement.

He now feels the need to perfect a map and share it with others. Based on his recollection, he makes the adjustments needed. A map with great artwork and crucial marginal notes that displays the region with utmost details is created. The sheet of paper is basically a culmination of his full experience he has earned from his journey, and it is ready to be shared by everyone else who is interested. He now feel confident that he has taken a big step toward becoming a great guide in the future.


Final Project:

In our last class, we have decided to create a web-page that displays written works based on different themes. I think, I would like to go with the theme/topic that we have already explored in the class and it is Fake News. Or rather, being more specific, exploration of how people conceive what truth is and how they choose “the truth” that benefits them the most. There is a couple of sources that come to my mind which would be very useful for this project. One of them is a YouTube video showcasing a psychological study in relation to this particular topic. Another source is an old article I had read long time ago, and it is about the concept of truth. It examines how people choose to believe in “the truth” by the way it is presented to them. Though, I will have to find the article first in order to be able to use it. Of course, Equity Unbound could also be a great resource.