Not More Writing Process!

Writing involves a lot of aspects, a lot of steps we must consider for a successful paper. However, the bad idea presented here is the obsession about the writing process over the real purpose of writing, which is the product. In his essay, “The More Writing Process, The Better” published in the book Bad Ideas about Writing (P.109-114), Jimmy Butts believes that a better idea is in the fact that we should focus our attention on the “finished product,” rather than spending tons of hours on the writing process. Doing this will help the writers complete those beautiful drafts, which we are after.

Decorative photo of thread and scissors

Process vs. Product. Credit:


When it comes to writing, we tend to approach it from different angles, different points of view. We all were taught to see writing more as a process, if we want to become good writers. That involves prewriting, editing, revising. Essentially, everyone has an idea of the fact that a paper wouldn’t be a good one if you don’t follow these steps. Undoubtedly, they play a significant role in the quality of our essays. However, the process tends to delay us from our main objective, which is to get things done. Jimmy Butts illustrates this problem when he says “Many embraced a kind of slower process in the teaching of writing that resisted the kind of production-line expectation of written work that can sometimes arise along with a lot of expectations. All of this was good. It was a valuing of the human as a writer, but it began- I suspect- to devalue the written work” (Butts 110). In other words, the fact that we spend too much time thinking about an essay such as prewriting, revising, all those repeated actions push writing or finished drafts into the background and leave out the real appreciation of our essays. Moreover, it is irrelevant to focus our energy and time on the process and forget to get things done. We can’t embrace a slower process if at the end, we can’t produce anything. So, writing doesn’t solely involve a kind of recursive process because, after a while, it takes us away from our main goal. Butts assimilates this activity as “unimportant”. Butts supports his thought when he says that “Revising too much can be unethical, a waste” (Butts 113). We should appreciate the written work itself. For example, in Basketball or football, it is like spending time to appreciate a team’s playstyle but at the end they never win the game. The process is not important if the product of our work is good.

Writing can be a little bit complex if we think about the steps that go from brainstorming to publishing but we should always stay focused and pay more attention to the outcome. Obviously, writing takes time and requires some background work, but writers shouldn’t be obsessed about completing too much process which looks more like a never-ending thing. Instead, writers should appreciate the work done in their normal. In fact, when writers delay the written work, they end up rushing to meet deadlines and more than likely it leads either to a crappy product or they can’t even turn it in at all. That is, Megan McArdle in her essay “Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators” dives into that problem. She said, “Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fear of turning nothing eventually surpasses their fear of turning in something terrible” (McArdle 2). In other words, writers spend a lot of time revising their papers, thinking too much about how their paper can look better that they forget the essence of the work itself, which is to produce. For instance, most writers are paralyzed by the fact that they focus all their attention on the process, which is somehow hard to appreciate.

Furthermore, Hannah Sullivan, the author of the book the work of revision explains the link between “a text’s thematic or formal concerns to its genesis” (Sullivan 5). That is, she emphasizes on the fact that the form of a work doesn’t determine its method of composition and revision. She believes that we inherited these virtues of redrafting and rewriting from the modernism. The modernist approach of rewriting, to touch up can sometimes go a little bit too far. In fact, sometimes writers tend to revise a little bit more to justify the difficulty and value of their work.

Finally, Butts ended his argument when he said, “Writing is construction, but thinking about writing is never arriving at what we might create” (Butts 113). Writing should be seen more as a product, something we must achieve. Writing takes time and the process can’t be disassociated to the product, but writing is more complex than that. Students should be taught to get things done, instead of endless drafts. We should complete the work and give more credit to finished drafts themselves.


Work cited

Butts, Jimmy “The More Writing Process, the Better”, Bad Ideas About Writing, Digital Publishing Institute,

McArdle, Megan “Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators”, The Atlantic, Feb 12, 2014,

Sullivan, Hannah, The Work of Revision, Harvard University Press, 2013.


English Professors Require Professional Support

“Anyone can Teach Writing” 

Marjorie Walker

The essay “Anyone can Teach Writing” by Seth Khan speaks about the titular bad idea that anyone can teach writing, the ‘anyone’ in particular referring to the adjunct professors that make up the majority of teachers in a college. Despite their degrees on the subject, however, they not only have less job security, but also have less resources. It’s so bad that they actually don’t get the syllabus for their class to look over and try to come up with a good plan for how the year will go until the week before a semester starts.

These are just some of the problems these professors have to deal with as a result of this idea, but the group who will feel this worst of all is the students taught by those professors, them not being able to get the attention and learn the information they need efficiently due to their “teachers on wheels” (Street et al., 2) travelling from class to class right after the other every day.

A better idea would be that “Any well-trained and supported writing professor can teach writing”.

Effects on Adjunct Professors

One of the reasons I feel this is a better writing idea is that the colleges will be less callous about their treatment of adjunct professors under this field.

The bad idea has been around since the 1800s according to Seth Khan’s “Anyone can Learn Writing” essay, when English Composition was first beginning and was taught by groups considerably varying in skill level, from professors that specialized in it to students that recently graduated under the field (365). Only recently have they started to put in specialized training for writing teachers, though the idea still has its effect on the thought processes of colleges when it comes to paying and their treatment of the adjuncts.

They still have the idea that it doesn’t matter who they hire to teach it or when they do it. They think someone who was hired the day before can handle the ‘simple’ amount of stuff to teach to an entire classroom as someone who has been at the college for years and is somewhat known by the children there. They aren’t even called to participate in college meetings sometimes either.

Therefore, the professors struggle to get their materials together in time for classes to start, and on top of that, they may have multiple classes to travel between on the same day, so students who need some help can most likely be out of luck.

With the mindset the better idea presents us with, colleges may not be as careless and think of an adjunct English professor’s time to be as valuable as a professor with another major. They may send them the syllabi and let them know that they’re accepted to teach at the college at a more convenient time to give them some well-deserved breathing room. They may also give them more access to resources for a better learning experience. A shame that we need to think up a better idea just for those professors to have the resources that they need, but I digress. The teachers are not the only ones that have it hard thanks to this archaic bad idea, however. 

Effects on Students

Another reason I feel this is a better writing idea is because it will ultimately better prepare the students and give them the skills they need to succeed in college as well as beyond.

This is a very important reason, that the students will be able to receive all the help and knowledge they need to prepare them. Laura McKenna’s article “The Cost of an Adjunct” discusses this, having other non-tenured professors like Judy Olsen to discuss their situations, her saying that “her financial concerns may detract away from her lesson planning” as well as quoting other teachers that “are unable to maintain independent research that could otherwise enrich classroom discussions”.

Through improving the teachers’ conditions and keeping them informed on their hiring status, the colleges can promote an overall excellent learning experience for the students there, both the ones that struggle with this subject and those who already somewhat enjoy it.


I think overall the idea that anyone can teach writing is a terrible idea that does not only undersell the skill and effort needed to deal with the true unpredictability of writing, but also hurts those who teach it as well as learn it.

English professors have to deal with terrible conditions such as cramped office spaces and no personal offices to discuss private school issues with their students who need it. The better idea that any well-trained and supported writing professional can teach writing is more likely to remind colleges that professors with English degrees had to go through the same amount of hard work as one with a Mathematics degree or a degree in the Arts, and must be treated as such with better pay, less cramped office spaces, and given more time to look over their information for the year.

This in turn will help the students that need it most, giving them a more consistent place to meet up with their teacher and discuss any issues they might have to have a much smarter group of students.

Of course, it is also up to the students, according to Olson and Maria Maisto from  to look into their colleges and how the adjunct teachers are treated. If the college representatives respond in a way that only someone with the mindset that “anyone can teach writing” has, then try to bring to them the better idea that anyone with the support and training of a professional can really achieve that. 

Source List

Who Is Professor “Staff” and How Can This Person Teach So Many Classes? vol. 2, New Faculty Majority, 2012, pp. 1–22, Who Is Professor “Staff” and How Can This Person Teach So Many Classes?

McKenna, Laura. “The Cost of an Adjunct.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 26 May 2015, 

Khan, Seth. “Anyone can Teach Writing.” Bad Ideas About Writing, edited by Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe. West Virginia University Digital Publishing Institute, 2017. pp. 363-368

Response with Never Using “I”


    In researching the theory of giving a response and never use “I”, an article by Kimberly N. Parker. I’ve found that this can make students feel silenced. Students are taught this theory early on, but the “Bad ideas About Writing” (pg. 135) article shows no adequate reasoning behind the theory or an deepening understanding as to why. As a young student being taught this, it raised questions I’m sure others are wondering. Well how do I give a correct response out of 1st person? Why leave me out of the response sections? Isn’t personal response your connection to the passage? If teachers could educate students how to leave an authentic response for literature and still make a connection with self, this would instead be a better idea. A response a occurs after reading and somewhere between self and text connect then a student can explain who they got to this conclusion.

The problem with leaving “I”?
    In researching the articles by Kimberly Parker, she wrote the article, she explains Restricting students to write without self can make students not feel the freedom of writing. writing should be about self-expression, while given evaluation of the text. When” I” can’t be represented what else is to say how we connect. It Leaves open that space to say did I really learn anything here is there anything attaching me to what I just read. How can a professor expect students to have a response when “I” is forbidden with no substitution?

Many students will be taught this during their transitions of institutions, that expressing themselves through their lives in response to literature isn’t acceptable. Within in these restricting guidelines often taught early on, Parker continues to explain how writing can become a disembodied task to only complete and devoid any joy or connection of feeling. It can become vague and distant. Student have a disconnect with writing because they feel it’s not about them.



In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamont expresses how she found within her students, they were rather just trying to make an assignment deadline and making sure their papers are perfect for standards than learning and implicating creativity. Its only to finish a standard but not educating them into being experienced writers. This fights against having students learning what their writing style or seeing themselves as their own personal writers. Its them expressing through someone else or writing like someone else. It can cause a delayed chance to develop as a new writer if a student can be told to stop writing as you experience but how the standard is set for you to write. it’s more of a representation to leave yourself out and your voice won’t be represented.

With a lot of these preset standards, student may feel pressure to always stick with these standards to make everything perfect. Anne Lamont speaks on this on pg. 28 of her book, Bird by Bird. She speaks by saying “Perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life course”. Perfection is the robbery of creativity. Focusing too much on the guidelines of structure and standard can leave a paper, sometimes vain. Organization is a key to a great paper, yes, but too much pressure is often applied to the standards of papers, which can cause lack of originality or skills. Allowing your understanding to be open and unrestricted you can discover new treasures about yourself as a writer. Under all the mess and plies, while cleaning things up you can make something new.

So, if we can’t write in first person how do we respond?
Lucy Calkins, Art of teaching reading and writing, Gives us some steps of personal response in an article on pg. 518. Personal response involves first hearing and then now showing how you are affected by it. Reader’s linger over the readings and still bring through a relation of one’s own life. You must get a sense that you first get it and there is a response to give. In order to show how prior experience can serve as a source for envisioning and comprehending a text, a reader can share his or her thoughts.

After taking in the steps when the can answer the questions of:

1. can you tell a story from this?
2. How can you explain seeing it in this way?
3. What does these sections say about these texts?
4. What does the section say about me the reader as a person?

     Writers need options for how to say what they want to say and not be silenced. It is important to help young writers to understand who they are as a writer and help guide them to use writing as a creative process for liberation’s and self-explorations. Anne Lamont also wrote a writer’s job is to see what’s hidden within a page, to see maybe bleak unspeakable things, and turn it into words that will adjoin others into a place of unity in understanding. Writer are first to discover then figure out a way to get their audience on the same page with them. expounding on the journey it took them on and getting them to the same destination

Work cited page:
Parker, N. Kimberly, Response: Never use “I”, bad ideas about writing, wvu,2015.
Calkins, Lucy, Personal Response: The art of reading and writing, New York: longman,2001.
Lamont, Anne, Finding your voice, Perfectionism: Bird by Bird, New York :Pantheon Books, 19


Are Good Writers Born or Made?


           There is a well-known myth that talent is something people are either born with or without. Successes in careers and skills of all kinds are too often attributed to natural talent. This is especially true with the ability to write. Many people believe that well-known, successful authors were just the lucky ones who were born with talent. The idea that some people are born good writers, while well-intended, actually does much more harm than good. It discourages people who want to learn to write and teaches those who find it easy that they don’t have to work to improve. A more practical idea is that good writers are made through perseverance, humility, and the right mindset.

            In her essay “Some People are Just Born Good Writers,” in the book Bad Ideas About Writing,  Jill Parrott says that “good writing instruction… can only occur if the person believes that they can become a good writer” (74). Without the core belief that improvement is possible, there is very little chance that a writer will progress. This is the foundation of the growth mindset. Developed by psychologist Carol Dweck, growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and skills can improve ( The right mindset is fundamental to anyone who wishes to become a good writer. When people are taught that writing ability is set in stone, one of two things will presumably happen. If someone believes they were lucky enough to be born with this natural talent or ability, they are not likely to work at it or seek out opportunities for improvement. On the other hand, if they believe that they were born without it, they will feel discouraged and never even make an attempt, leaving them stuck where they are. With a growth mindset, an aspiring writer will focus on their improvements while embracing challenges to improve on weaknesses.

            It can almost be guaranteed that everyone learning to write will be told not to give up more times than they can count. It’s probably the piece of advice heard the most by aspiring writers. It is often said as if it is simple or easy to follow, when it can actually be one of the hardest aspects of developing a skill. Picking oneself up after failure and persevering through challenges is a never-ending struggle, but according to writer Jeff Goins, it makes all the difference. In his article “The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers,” Goins says, “Bad writers quit. Good writers keep going. That’s all there is to it” ( As stated before, this is much easier said than done, but he makes a valuable point. That is, if you keep working, taking the time to practice, you will advance in your writing. Goins believes that bad writers do not improve because they believe their writing has “achieved a certain level of excellence” ( They settle for whatever they have written so far, and do not challenge themselves to write something better. ‘

            Probably the most overlooked quality of good writers, humility is a key aspect of becoming a good writer. While confidence is often viewed as an important characteristic of successful writers, humility is rarely mentioned. Without humility, a person would not think to ask for feedback on their writing. Instead of seeking out and listening to constructive criticism, they are closed off and ignore what others have to say.

            This reluctance to accept feedback often stems from a fear of rejection or failure. Katharine Brooks, a provider of career services at numerous colleges throughout the U.S., believes this fear is what holds most people back in their writing. In her article “Writing Anxiety and the Job Search,” she says her colleague, Neil Johnson, sees a lot of “fear of rejection. Fear of not doing a good job. Fear of writing in general” ( Once those learning to write can let go of that fear, they can learn to be humble and to use their setbacks as learning opportunities to progress. Editing, revising, and rewriting are all crucial parts of the writing process, but bad writers decide that they do not need these. Skipping these steps leaves their writing mediocre and scattered.

            A concept not discussed here, but equally important to improving writing skills, is the concept of metacognition. Metacognition is the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes, or, simply put, thinking about thinking. Improving metacognitive skills requires reflection on one’s work and their thoughts about that work. Anyone learning to write, at any age and at any point in their writing journey, can benefit from learning about metacognition. To learn more about metacognition and strategies to improve it, visit



Works Cited

Parrott, Jill. “Some People are Just Born Good Writers.” Bad Ideas About Writing, edited by Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe, Digital Publishing Institute, 2017, 71-75.

Goins, Jeff. “The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers.” Goins, Writer, 24 Nov. 2014,

Brooks, Katharine. “Writing Anxiety and the Job Search.” Psychology Today, 30 Jul. 2010,

“Decades of Scientific Research That Started a Growth Mindset Revolution.” The Growth Mindset – What Is Growth Mindset – Mindset Works,

Language In The Classroom

When it comes to language in the classroom many African American students are oppressed because of the way they speak. Teachers especially try to correct these “errors” linked to African American Language, which is why professionals, and society need to understand that African American Language is different form of language and not a flawed form of Standard American English. Welcoming their home languages, cultures and identities into the classroom so they feel included and apart of the class. Doing so might make the minority students more willing to add Standard American English to their life. African American Language and Standard American English are different, but if people are able to understand, acquire, and switch between both then society will be more capable of recognizing the authenticity of the language and its people.


Language is defined to its grammatical origins, not the vocabulary. The use of “standard” is problematic, suggesting that the United States does have an accepted standard language. English is considered a Germanic language because the grammar follows Germanic rules, even though the vocabulary is mostly French and Latin. African American Language is more grammatically African than English, even though the vocabulary is English. Since, it follows logically that African American Language it should be considered linguistically. The African language is separate from English, because of its grammatical origins in the Niger-Congo or western and southern parts of Africa. Determining African American Language as its own language from Standard American English and establishing African American Language as a legitimate form of spoken and written communication. The term “standard” is used to differentiate the type of English preferred in academic and professional settings from other varieties of spoken and written American English.


In the article “Bad Ideas About Writing: African American Is Not Good English” Jennifer Cunningham explained the grammatical and phonological rules that Linguist Lisa Green discusses in African American Language. Between African American Language and Niger-Congo languages, there is a grammatical structure called zero copula. Zero copula allows the sentences to be grammatically correct without a verb(Ex: be, am, is, are, was, were, been, being). Some African American Language speakers will say “She reading”, when Standard American English speakers will say “She is reading”. Both of those phrases would be considered correct. The author also states that “Construction that includes the word “be” known as habitual be, meaning that if the word “be” is used in a sentence, an action is consistent or regular”(Cunningham p.90). As a result, “She be reading” in African American Language is equivalent to “She reads all the time”, in Standard American English.


Additional grammatical trait used in African American Language is the negative concord; a phenomenon in which more than once negative element occurs in a sentence, but the sentence is interpreted as only being negated once. The use of the negative concord is to emphasis the sentence. Meaning t

he African American Language sentence “I ain’t got no time” is correct and more empathic than the Standard American English sentence “I don’t have any time.” The word of “ain’t” is also used in African American Language and can be translated to the Standard American English word “didn’t”. Those examples should support the point that African American Language is not bad English but follows a pattern that doesn’t exist in Standard American English.


Not only do African American students feel oppressed from the lack of validation but upcoming teachers also struggle with their identity as a teacher or even a person. Shuaib Meacham’s article titled “The Clash of “Common Senses”: Two African American Women Become Teachers.” Meacham follows two African American women where in the process of becoming teachers. They became frustrated in the reality because they wanted their language to have a more significant role in the education world. Linda grew up speaking Black, or African American Language, which is frowned upon in the education world. As a result, Linda began to negatively devalue not only herself but her family and the people in her community. Tanya grew up speaking Standard American English, but she experience a situation were one of here white counterparts defined the way she talked as “talking white.” In the education world she found herself losing her cultural identity as a Black Woman. Both Linda and Tanya were challenged to maintain their self-esteem and cultural integrity when it came to the task of teaching. Together both women help each other maintain their confidence to create their own standard rooted in cultural appreciation and Black self-love that help get them to that point.


Accepting different languages in the classroom, means you welcome in that person’s culture and identity. Doing this will not only make African Americans feel respected but, all other minorities, as well as making people more willing to include Standard American English into their lives. “If students understand that different audiences and contexts expect different language choices and that African American Language is different from Standard American English but that neither is better or worse than the other, then they are better able to accept and use both proficiently.” (Cunningham p.91)


Works Cited


Ball, Cheryl E., and Loewe Drew M. “Bad Ideas About Writing.”Cunningham, Jennifer M. “African American Language Is Not Good English”, West Virginia University Libraries Digital Publishing Institute (2017).


Delpit, Lisa D., and Dowdy Kilgour Joanna. “The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts On Language and Culture in the Classroom.” New York Press, (2002).


Meacham, Shuaib J. “The Clash Of Common Senses: Two African American Women Become Teachers”, New York Press, (2008).


Dual-Enrollment Writing Classes Should Always Be Pursued

Dual-enrollment classes were established in the 1990’s (Wilkinson, 338) to give qualified high school students a chance to gain college curriculum experience. While, also, earning college credit that is counted for in the bachelor’s degree program. To say that the pursuit of this extension of  a “college ready” program is a bad idea, is a bad idea in itself. The concern is the disconnection between high school and college cultured experience. You are implying that the program is a disservice to high school students. Dual-enrollment classes, more often than not, are to be taken on college campuses with college professors and college peers. Senior, and juniors depending on the school district, high school students able to further their education and get a head start on college credits. Dual-enrollment classes should be strongly encouraged for those high school students who feel prepared to take a college-level course.

youth Learning


Students who excel in their high school classes, by junior or senior year, can feel stagnant in their education. Some students are naturally quick learners, good test takers and/or can retain information fairly well. All of these attributes can aid in a student’s ability to surpass their peers. To have the option to gain college curriculum early is a great academic choice. In studies reported by the National High School Center, it is found that that dual-enrollment classes have reduced the amount of remediation at the college level (Taczak and Thelin, 7). This opportunity can help motivate students to continue their education. “In 2010, a study of Oregon’s dual enrollment programs, for example, found that dually enrolled student are more likely to go to college, less likely to drop out as freshmen, and to have higher grade point averages than students who did not take college courses in high school,” (Kim, Why More Students Should Go to College in High School).  It can be seen as a part of the process of transition into college. You are giving students a head start on life. We know the ‘real world’ is nothing short of a competitive field.


Furthermore, one of the many benefits of dual-enrollment is being able to complete your college degree programs faster. If taken for both junior and senior year, you are only looking at 2 more years of college! Especially since the first 2 years are full of core curriculum classes, when you finally get to college you will be able to go straight into your degree focused classes. If done correctly, the dual-enrollment program can set you up for success in life. To get ahead and stay ahead in your career and life is a hard and rigorous task. Yes, you are cutting down your “college years” and you won’t have the full 4 years of experiencing college life. In my eyes, it is worth it. You are setting yourself apart from the competition when you apply for a job or an internship. You are giving yourself that edge that can put you above everyone else and secure that position.

In addition, the college courses are offered at a reduced tuition which can help families financially and still give their child a higher education. A deciding factor in high school graduates decision to not go to college can be the, ever increasing, cost. Low-income families are forced to neglect their child’s college education because tuition is out of their price range. With dual-enrollment classes, they can have a chance at that degree. The classes are offered at a discounted price that can allow college classes to become affordable. Within certain school districts, depending on circumstances, the school will be able to pay for the student to take the college-level courses.


Moreover, everyone loves to compare the two ‘college ready’ programs that are active in high schools, Advance Placement and Dual-Enrollment classes. Advanced placement (AP) classes are supposed to imitate the structure of a college-level class, apart of the ‘college ready’ incinitive. In reality, Advanced placement classes are a waste of time. The structure of the class is to give students two times the amount of work versus a regular class. Which contradicts the structure of a college course. In college if you are lucky, your professor to assign more than 5 assignments for the whole semester. The concept that giving high schoolers a multitude of assignments to complete very week to prepare them for college was poorly made. Dual-enrollment gives first-hand experience of the typical college classroom structure and curriculum.

To decide whether or not dual enrollment is the better option is to you. If you are a high school student or younger, then it depends on what type of student you and want to be. If you have already graduated high school, then it depends on your high school experience and how you believe the ‘college ready’ program stacks up against their future. I have learned that doing things that can set you apart from others and for success are worth it, in the end. How do you picture your life playing out? Do you see yourself in a position of higher authority? If so, then who would not want someone who is an overachiever as a boss? I definitely would because I know that, within that company, that boss is going to do their very best to make that a successful business. Allow your dreams to be your motivation. If you want to know more on the impact of college courses for dual enrollment students, then I would advise you to look into Kara Taczak and William H. Thelin’s work titled, “(Re)Envisioning the Divide: The Impact of College Courses on High School Students”. Take control over your own education and become the person you know you can become.


Works Cited

Rob Jenkins. Advanced Placement vs Dual Enrollment. The Chronicle of Higher Education. January 14, 2013.

Kara Taczak and William H. Thelin. (Re)Envisioning the Divide: The Impact of College Courses on High School Students. The National Council of Teachers of English. September 2009.

Caroline Wilkinson. Dual-Enrollment Writing Classes Should Always Be Pursued. Bad Ideas About Writing. West Virginia University Libraries Digital Publishing Institute Morgantown, WV. 2017.

Research Starts with A Thesis Statement

Research Starts with A Thesis Statement

The theory that research begins with a thesis statement is a dangerous belief and practice when it comes to writing. In her essay “Research Starts with A Thesis Statement” in the book Bad Ideas About Writing Emily Wierszewski believes that a “thesis- first research model in research is only used to verify our existing ideas or thesis” (Wierszewski pg.231). This is a bad idea when it comes to writing due to the fact that it doesn’t welcome the idea of uncertainty and curiosity. Thesis- first approaches exist only to glorify that a researcher’s pre-existing belief is correct. Without openly accepting curiosity writers are deprived of the chance to explore the infinite varieties of ideas and question that could develop while doing research. A better idea of writing would be to “begin research with a question or a statement of a problem” (Wierszewski pg. 233). Allowing individuals to ask questions allows them to embrace the unknown and new findings, rather than limiting the possibilities.

Thinking Allowed

Emily Wierszewski has the firm belief that starting research with a thesis statement is a bad idea about writing. She believes that students view research as a tool only reliable for supporting beliefs, rather than asking questions. Wierszewski believes this is a bad idea when “In a thesis-guided research process, a question is posed, an answer is generated, and sources are found that match up with that answer” (Wierszewski pg.232). She believes students need to be guided to open ended question first approach to research to create an authentic process of analyzing sources and material. Having this freedom creates a safe space for inquiry and honest answers for students, and the ability to advance as a writer. “When we understand research as a process of discovery rather than a process of proof, we open ourselves up to be changed by our research—to better our lives, our decisions, and our world” (Wierszewski pg.234). She believes that once students open up to this idea, they not only improve as writers, but they explore curiosity with a new perspective. Students will no longer be afraid of the unknown but rather intrigued with what it could lead too.  Wierszewski beliefs of asking questions, is supported by Robert Davis and Mark Shadle, two authors who further discussed the benefits of trying different research processes. Davis and Shadle not only believed in having a research process built on creativity and inquiry, but also how important writing itself affects this process.

Research writing as useful as it can be is very disregarded by students as an unnecessary skill. Research has been thought of as a standard way of writing from creating a thesis statement, to carrying out research and proving theories to be right. In Mark Shadle and Robert Davis essay “Building a Mystery: Alternative Research Writing and the Academic Act of Seeking” Mark Shadle helps readers understand that research writing can be a resourceful tool in straying from the “modernist ideals”(pg. 418 Davis & Shadle) of writing and formulate different strategies a student could use when it comes to writing a research paper. Davis and Shadle believe that in comparison to the classical idea of research writing, students should embrace the ambiguity of passion and freedom to explore the unknown. As an example, Shadle and Davis point out that an important aspect of research, is writing. More specifically they state that writing is a way for “writers to demonstrate their place in society.


This idea about writing has further been supported by David Bartholomae as he further discusses how analysis and writing can be resourceful to a student learning to write complex content. For a student to write, he feels that they must “learn the language and how to speak as we do”(pg. 8 Bartholomae) and to learn the language student must be brave enough to try and be open to guidance. Bartholomae argues that “the writing that students do in colleges and universities takes place in a complex context of already ongoing disciplinary discourses”(pg. 12 Bartholomae).The base of research is writing, getting back to the basics and redefining the understanding you have of the language of writing and avoiding writers block. He expresses that every paper a student writes invent the university and at some point, learn the language. Bartholomae argues that a solution to shape students into better writers is “If we look at their writing, and if we look at it in the context of other student writing, we can better see the points of discord when students try to write their way into the university”(pg. 17 Bartholomae). If teachers example the factors under which students write, we can better understand the lack of connection to the language of writing. Ultimately bridging the gap between writing and how it connects to all other forms of writing.,_Alternative_Research_Writing.pdf


Texting ruins literacy skills

So here’s the tea about texting and literacy skills. Did you know that there’s a whole debate over whether texting depletes children’s literacy skills? I’ve had the pleasure to get into a couple of people minds about the ‘issue’ at hand. There has even been a number of small studies that has said the complete opposite. Texting doesn’t ruin literacy skills, instead it enhances them.

            Since the beginning of time “new technologies have consistently threatened old ones, so cries that “texting is killing civilization” are part of a big history trashing new media (Justice 312). Because texting is new, it is getting trashed just like writing, video games, television, etc. did. When something new is introduced, you have to accommodate to it, don’t just shame it because it’s unfamiliar to you. Christopher says that, “several researchers have found positive correlations between texting and people’s literacy skills” (311). For example, Kat Fox found that texting improved texters summarizing skills, or the group of researchers at Coventry University whom discovered that the more pre-teen children used text abbreviations, the more likely they were to score higher on reading and vocabulary tests, vice versa. If texting really does ruin literacy skills, why are there studies showing otherwise or the that fact that the literacy rate hasn’t plummeted since texting has been introduced? “We should consider texting as not replacing formal writing, but instead, as a complex compliment to formal writing that allows people to augment their existing writing skills in fresh, complex ways. Instead of perceiving texting as a threat to literacy, we should start understanding texting as an ally” (Justice 313). If we keep seeing texting as a threat, we’re going to treat it like one, when really texting should be a partner. There was once a time when writing itself was viewed down upon by philosopher Plato. If society can get over the problematic ‘writing’ itself, whose to say we can’t do the same thing with texting.

            Crystal says,” I do not see how texting could be a significant factor when discussing children who have real problems with literacy. If you have difficulty with reading and writing, you are hardly going to be predisposed to use technology which demand sophisticated abilities in reading and writing. And if you do start to text, I would expect the additional experience of writing to be help, rather than a hinderance” (157). If you actually think about it, would an illiterate person text or even attempt to, would you if you were illiterate? I know that I don’t like to try new things without having some background knowledge or information on it. Texting requires you to have some amount of background knowledge. “Before you can write abbreviated forms efficiently and play with them, you need to have a sense of how the sounds of your language relate to the letters. You need to know that there are such things as alternative spellings. You need to have a good visual memory and good motor skills. If you are aware that your texting behavior is different, you must have already intuited that there is such a thing as a standard” (Crystal 162). Texting involves much more than just pressing buttons, it involves a lot of thinking. You would have to have knowledge about mnemonics devices, code-switching, which you would do subconsciously. Texting has more than one factor that comes into play. Texting allows texters ample time to think of a reply, they could edit and revise which you wouldn’t be able to do in person. Texting includes aspects of both writing and speech, some may even call it “fingered speech” (Justice 312).

            In a study of whether texting and knowledge of text abbreviations adversely affect children’s literacy attainment, “there was no evidence that knowledge of textisms by ore-teen children has any negative association with their written language competence. All associations between text language measures and school related literacy measures have either been positive or non- significant, but the relationship even in those pairing that did not reach significance were in the direction if a positive relationship between texting and school writing outcomes “(Plester etc al 142). Most studies that involve literacy and texting, more than likely has positive/good answers. If the research conclusions have been good, why all the hostility still? There were two studies conducted, the first study showed that there “was a significant association between spelling ability and the number of interpretation errors made in the textism to English translation, indicating that as the children’s spelling score increased, so the number of interpretation errors made decreased” ( Plester etc al 141). The second study showed “clearly that pre- teen children can use meta-linguistic awareness to slip between one register of language and another, as they deem appropriate” (Plester etc al 143). Meaning that the pre-teen children knew when and how to talk or text a certain depending on who they were talking too.

            What’s your take on the issue? Do you believe that texting has improved of hindered your literacy skills? Personally, I believe that texting has helped my literacy skills. I know for a fact that it has helped some people with their’ s, I witnessed that first hand. If you didn’t know how to spell a word back in the days you were out of luck, but now if you speak into the phone it can spell it for you, if you pronounce it correctly, eventually you will learn how to spell the word.

                                       Works Cited

Justice, Christopher. Texting ruins literacy skills. Digital Publishing Institute. pp 308- 314.

Crystal, David. Txtng : The Gr8 Db8.Oxford University Press, 2008.

Beverly Plester, Clare Wood, and Victoria Bell, ‘Txt msg n school literacy: does mobile phone use adversely affect children’s literacy attainment?’. Volume 42 Number 3. Beverly Plester,2008.

Reading And Writing Are Not Connected

Reading And Writing Are Not Connected

By: Desyrae Clark



     Throughout most people’s  career as a student they are given multiple rules on what are good and what are bad ideas about writing. For example a rule  is  don’t start a sentence off with the word “because” . Well  here is one more rule to add to the  list of bad ideas when writing. Reading and writing are not connected is one of those bad ideas that can affect a student more then that student know when  one subject is given more attention then the other subject. Reading and writing are two subjects that help each other out. For example as a college student when a English professor has given an assignment to write an essay on the book the students  have read about all year. If one doesn’t master the skill of reading and understanding what they have  read. How will the student be able to  write about what they have read. If that students previous English teacher would have given an equal amount of attention to reading comprehension skills as well as writing that student would have no issue with completing the task at hand. Instead of not connecting the two subjects according to author Ellen C. Carillo of article “Reading And Writing Are Not Connectedin the book Bad Ideas About Writing edited by Cheryl E. Ball & Drew M. Loewe teachers should not only connect the two subjects but also teach them in the classroom together as a better idea or pedagogy (style of teaching).

     In the article by Ellen C. Carillo Reading And Writing Are Not Connected she shines light on the impact of studies over the years of reading and the scores that were document. She states, “Since the 1950s we have been hearing Johnny can’t read”.  The statement “Johnny can’t read” isn’t talking about a boy name Johnny but is referring to the United States as a whole . These studies shows that this country had a serious problem in the development of reading skills.  Not only does she mention the studies on reading but also writing. She states in the next sentence ,” 1975, Newsweek informed us Johnny can’t write either” . The author is showing the readers that once again as the United States we were also lacking when it comes to writing skills . Starting off her article with those facts tells readers from the beginning how reading and writing work hand and hand. Carillo states in her article how strongly she feels that society should start allowing teachers to teach the two subjects together instead of apart . She writes, “What is often neglected in these public debates about the best way to teach literacy at the college level is that reading and writing are connected practices and, as such, the best way to teach them is together”.  Carillo uses many different resources to support and argue her opinion or her suggestion of better idea for this particular bad idea. That reading and writing should be connected and taught together in the classroom.    Reach Out and Read

     One of the references Carillo uses is Linda Adler-Kassner and Heidi Estrem’s  “Reading Practices in the Writing Classroom” . All of these writers have shined light on the bad idea of how teachers separate the two subjects of reading and writing in the classroom. The authors even mentions how not only is not being taught together but both have separate curriculums . The authors states, “ For others the curricula demands of a course like first-year writing leave little space for actual reading instructors…”.  These two ladies understand that todays standards in classrooms have split the two subjects given more attention to the other , which is causing a downfall in the over skill of mastering both . Certain classroom standards are giving students more essays to write not enough literate to read. When it comes to the overall skill of both reading and writing neither is more important than the other. The authors also state their opinions on how reading and writing are both important tools outside of the classroom. The authors writes, “ The act of reading for instance is referenced along with writing as a tool for inquiring learning, thinking ,and communication”. They show readers the importance in life of both reading and writing . Neither is more important than the other but both benefit the person.

     As stated before Carllio uses many different references to support her better idea for this bad idea. Another one of her resources she used is Robert Scholes’s The Transition to College Reading . Just like Carllio Robert Scholes believes that the best solution to this problem is that we change the way we are teaching. He states, “ We must make some changes in what we teach and how we teach it”. Scholes is telling teachers and professors that not only do we need to change the material but also the delivery of the material to the students. He is challenging the teachers of today to changes the standards to think outside of the box.. He also states his opinion on how reading and writing work together. Scholes writes, “ The natural reciprocal of writing which of course, is reading had somehow apparently subsume under the topic of literature”. Scholes is telling readers that he feels that when speaking of literature reading is now inclusive to the topic. In his first sentence of his conclusion he states, “ We need in short to , connect the development of reading and writing…”. Just as the other authors Scholes feel that the better idea or way to fixing the problem in the development of these skills is to connect them and teach them together.Writing setup (analog and digital)


     In conclusion , any student  try to write an essay on a book,article,or any passage. The student  will see it is impossible even if the student skims over the reading .That student  had to do some form of reading to be able to know what they are writing about. As a student think of how your grade reflected when you read and comprehend the passage and that was wrote about . Then compare that grade to a time when the passage wasn’t fully read or comprehended but still wrote about.   IEllen C . Carillo’s better idea for teachers and students is teaching reading and writing together. As a college student throughout the studet’s career in school their previous teachers have always taught them the saying” A great reader is A great writer”. Letting the student know early on how the two play a major role in the mastering of both skills. Such as a shove is to a hand in the task of digging a hole, you will need both to complete and master the task.





Adler-Kassner, Linda, and Heidi Estrem. “Reading Practices in the Writing Classroom.” WPA: Writing Program Administration – Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, vol. 31, no. 1/2, Fall/Winter2007 2007, pp. 35–47. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=eue&AN=31131518&site=eds-live&scope=site

Carillo, Ellen C.  “ Reading And Writing Are Not Connected ,” Bad Ideas About Writing. Cheryl E. Ball. Digital Publishing Institute .WVU Libraries . Morgantown, WV 26506


Scholes, Robert.    The Transition to College Reading. no. 2, 2002, p. 165. EBSCOhost,