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4.2: Experimentation

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    133546
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    Rule-driven writing instruction\(^{85}\) may intend to make writing easier, but it often undermines the very skills it is designed to foster.

    We propose another way. Think of good writing as the thoughtful use of an evolving repertoire, rather than adherence to a static list of commandments. In order to become a skillful writer, one discovers and experiments with a range of techniques. A writer draws upon this repertoire to meet the needs of the project, the ideas at hand, and the rhetorical situation. As one’s repertoire grows, and as one becomes practiced in drawing upon it, one can grow more confident about overcoming difficulties, taking up challenges, and expressing one’s ideas effectively. Ultimately, writers become skillful when they are willing to assess and reassess the quality of any idea about writing in terms of its effectiveness in their own experiences.

    No one\(^{86}\) knows what students will be asked to write five years from now, what not-yet-invented writing projects they’ll face. They need these analytical skills to tackle writing needs in their future professions.

    If young people are to be knowledgeable, ever-learning, active citizens in a participatory democracy, they must develop a wide-ranging, flexible literacy. Writing instructors should help students become informed, alert, and engaged readers and writers of a variety of texts and contexts, so that they learn to notice, appreciate, and master (should they so desire) all kinds of writing.

    Questions:

     


    \(^{85}\)Snippet from = Dufour, Monique and Jennifer Ahern-Dodson. “Good Writers Always Follow My Rules.” Bad Ideas About Writing. Edited by Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Libraries, Digital Publishing Institute, 2017. CC-BY.

    \(^{86}\)Snippet from = Dunn, Patricia A. “Teaching Grammar Improves Writing.” Bad Ideas About Writing. Edited by Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Libraries, Digital Publishing Institute, 2017. CC-BY.


    This page titled 4.2: Experimentation is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.