Monday, December 13, 2010

Archive Article: Valuing Student Writing

Question: How do we devalue student writing?

Answer: “It also allowed me to realize how frustrating it was to get superficial comments after laboring for weeks with a self-valued topic, how embarrassing it is to struggle with spelling, and how greatly I abhorred those teachers who did not care to help me grow as a scholar. And then there were the feelings of being humiliated by comments that, in their superficiality devalued or dishonored the effort of writing about painfully important experiences….” P. 350.

“What I wanted, as a younger vet-scholar, were comments that would allow me to gain authority, comments pointing to errors in my reasoning as well as in my spelling, comments that let me tell others about my experiences in the military in ways that would allow my ideas to facilitate the creation of a better world….” P. 350.

Comment: We have all had the experience of working hard on a paper, giving it to others while asking, “Well, what do you think of it?” and having them point out a misspelled word and that was all, no comments about the reasoning, the ideas. That’s how you devalue a writer’s efforts. Not to mention the brother-in-law whose response to your new book is “How many copies did it sell?” And that’s it. Nothing about the ideas contained in it. He obviously did not read it. That’s how you devalue a writer’s efforts. RayS.

Title: “Transformations: Working with Veterans in the Composition Classroom.” Galen Leonhardy. Teaching English in the Two-Year College (May 2009), pp. 339-352.

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