What Is Good Writing, Huck G.J., 2015

What Is Good Writing, Huck G.J., 2015.

Фрагмент из книги:
Although trained in theoretical linguistics, I found myself a number of years ago teaching in and coordinating a professional writing program in a large public university. As a neophyte writing program administrator, I was intrigued to discover that the teachers and scholars in the program hadn’t collectively settled on an answer to the question that serves as the title of this book. Indeed, they seemed surprised that the question should even be asked, the prevailing attitude being that it’s natural for people to differ about what the “good” in good writing refers to, since it’s inevitably a matter of taste. And at any rate, they felt an educator’s professional concern should be more about improving whatever skills students brought to class rather than worrying about something so abstract. There were personal opinions, of course—some quite strongly held—and I was treated to lively discussions about types of pedagogy that might be more or less useful in the writing classroom. I read articles in College English, WPA Journal, and College Composition and Communication (CCC) as an outsider, but with interest.

What Is Good Writing, Huck G.J., 2015

A Cognitive Approach to Good Writing.
The approach to answering the question in my title that I adopt will, I hope, impress the reader as more intuitively plausible than the alternatives, though I recognize that its plausibility is not in itself a decisive strike in its favor. The judgment should rightly rest on whether it delivers results for those who aspire to be good writers. However, results over the short term may be difficult to discern, since, as I will argue, building writing fluency in one’s brain is not a short-term enterprise. As for the longer term, I know of nothing in the way of current research that provides a persuasive basis for choosing any one of the several common pedagogies over another, much less one that establishes a reasonable criterion for success that any new approach must meet. Although there have been many well-designed experiments that attempt to provide empirical proof of the effectiveness of one or another compositionist strategy, the evidence is not very compelling. If gains are observed in an experiment that demonstrates students have learned to write to specific standards involving proxies for good writing — such as evidence of adherence to certain rules of spelling, punctuation, grammar, structure, or argument, or of having written for multiple purposes and audiences or having explored the concept of intellectual property and evaluated sources for credibility, etc. — in which they have been instructed, then the strategies used to teach the procedures may be considered effective for those particular standards, though it has not been demonstrated that the strategies promote anything so broad and subjective as, say, good writing.

Part one Conceptual introduction.
1. Historical Background.
2. A Cognitive Approach to Good Writing.
Part two Fluency.
3. Constructional Fluency.
4. Pragmatic Fluency.
5. Narrative Fluency.
6. Graphemic Fluency.
Part three Form and content.
7. Figurative Language.
8. Surprise, Repetition, and Complexity.
9. Verbal Art and Craft.

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