Thursday, July 2, 2009

Topic: College Writing

10-second review: In 1974 and 1975, the Writing Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee asked faculty, business people and professionals to assess the reading and writing skills of students and employees. They rated about half of the students/employees adequate or below in reading and writing skills. The three most important writing formats needed were essay exams, reports and research.

Title: “A Survey of Undergraduate Reading and Writing Needs.” RI Sherwood. College Composition and Communication (May 1977), 145-149. College Composition and Communication is a quarterly publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Comment: I know what the implication of the results of this survey would be for me: Beyond the writing process, organization and careful editing, I would focus on essay exams, writing reports of various types and the research paper.

The heck with description, narration, personal experience, process, cause and effect, comparison and contrast and analogy. There simply is not enough time in a semester-length college course to do all that when the essay exam is what is expected by other faculty members and report-writing needed by business people and professionals. RayS.

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