Thursday, April 26, 2018

What Should Colleges Teach

There are many ways on how to do research. According to a series of research questions I had answered, research is the most important part of a college writers essay. I believe middle and high schools do not teach students enough about how to research. From creating a written plan to citing, play your cards right and you will most likely get a good grade. Stanley Fish wrote an article about how students are coming into college without knowing how to structure their sentences that was 

published by the New York Times
Stanley Fish is a professor of humanities and law at Florida International University, in Miami. Fish taught in six different schools around the United States and is the author of 15 books. Fish wrote an article that was published by the New York Times and he claims that students are coming to college without common writing skills
Fish claims that schools are not teaching students sentence structure, manly the students for public schools. "By all the evidence, high schools and middle schools are not teaching writing skills in an effective way, if they are teaching them at all. The exception seems to be Catholic schools. More than a few commentators remembered with a mixture of fondness and pain the instruction they received at the hands of severe nuns. And I have found that those students in my classes who do have a grasp of the craft of writing are graduates of parochial schools." I agree to a certain extent; however, I believe research is much more falsified than sentence structure. 
I believe research is an important factor that’s is not taught in middle or high schools. I conducted my own survey on, what is the most important part of a college writers to think about when writing, that I sent to current college students, and research came up to be the most important part of a college writers essay. How do you conduct good research became the main question that I was focused on. I observed a tutor (Zac Colopy) from The Ohio State University at Newark at the Writer's Studio. I also interviewed a teacher (Dr. Jeff Butcher) who received his B.A. in English, M.A. in English-Literature, and his Ph.D. in English-Literature. I additionally have had experienced this problem. I had to teach myself how to actually research and I learned about all the different types of sources I will need in a research paper.
After making the plan you have to execute it.
The first part in researching is having a plan. A topic plays a huge roll in your plan because you won't be able to research if you don’t know what to search for. You should make a list of key words that should help you find your topic and this way if you are on a data base website you can search all the different key words that you have listed. You can also possibly find deeper thinking and understanding of that certain part or the whole topic. I have done this and found out that there are different sub categories that I can choose from or write about. 
According to Dr. Jeff Butcher, having different types of research is a great way to situate your topic, "If researching for an academic topic, books and peer-reviewed journals are important because they help us situate our topic in a certain area of discourse. At the same time, websites and videos and others can be just as important because these types of sources help us situate the text in a specific time frame (and also allow us to engage in public discourse as well)." 
Can you tell me a little about this a car?

Fish has a great point with sentence structures, on the other hand, I`m convinced that research is not touched up on as much as it should be. From experience I believe colleges should focus heavily on teaching how to do research. There are many research lessons that were left out in middle school and high school. For example, being a car guy, I find it funny when I go to a car dealership and ask the car salesmen to tell me about the car, but it turns out that I know more about the car then he or she does. Teachers don’t want to hear what they already know they want to hear something new that they can learn from. Research is taught in high school and middle school, but its just showing you that you have the ability to use the school library`s website and they don't talk about the different types of sources.

How Could You Not Organize ?

In the article "What College Should Teach Pt.3" Stanley Fish argues how high school are not being taught in an effective way and how students are not prepared for college and how it effects college professors because they have to re-teach the course. He designed an excercise for his student to extend the basic for his basic insight. He ask them to" turn a three-word sentence into 100-word sentence." He also ask students to replace the nonsense words with ordinary English word". He is basically states that sentence structure is the most important skill. He said " I can only cite local successes in my class."  I totally agree when writing a paper sentence structure plays a role in it, but that is not the most important, organizing is.

       How can you start a paper without organizing ? That is what really plays a big role in your paper. Before you even get to typing you must have a plan and with that plan you think about how you're going to organize your thoughts and ideas. Even if you're free writing you  would still have to go back, edit and move around sentences to make sure it make sense. This is the key to writing a successful paper. Organizing is important when it comes to writing any type of paper.

There isn't a right or wrong way when mapping out your ideas. You want to make sure you're making it clear on whats being said. Never leave your audience confused and all over the place. They won't read your paper ! Keep them engage and entertain ! This is why organizing is the key. You want to make sure your ideas match your topic. You want to make sure it has a steady flow.

How did I determine that organizing is important?  During my research I was able to meet with a tutor from The Ohio State University at Newark and emailed a English professor whose taught college level writing for 11 years. So they know exactly what they are talking about. I read an article called  Forget Formulas: Teaching Form through Function in Slow Writing and Reading as a Writer by Michelle Tremmel. In her article she writes "Organizing has affected the students as they try to move on to the next level" . Students were not able to because of the little knowledge they know about organizing. It has left them confused and placed in remedial class until improvement is shown.

After all my research I've done on this topic I've experienced not being organize when writing and trust me its frustrating. I tend to branch off a few times, but when I go back to preview I realize how unorganized I was. It made me realize how important it is when it comes to putting a paper together. Yes I do agree with Fisher about sentences being important and learning grammar but he focuses on just a small part of writing.When you look at the bigger picture students really needs to know how to organize. They're many ways to do so and that's the only way you'll bring your paper together.

Writing A Good Introduction Is The Best Way

According to Stanley Fish, What Should Colleges Teach? Part 3, he speaks on how most college writers come to college unprepared and unaware of certain things because of what they was not taught in high school. He states “I cannot see, however, why a failure of secondary education relieves college teachers of a responsibility to make up the deficit. Quite the reverse. It is because our students come to us unable to write clean English sentences that we are obligated to supply what they did not receive from their previous teachers.”

Now, this is where I come to agree with Fish. Ever wonder why most of us college writers struggle so much with the introduction of our paper?

I say this might be because of the lack of freedom we had in our early years in school before college. They say an introduction only needs three sentences and your thesis and you are good to go. Teachers would start out our introduction for us and then tell us to finish it with the chosen prompt. Most college writers are used this method so much that when they come to college and have the freedom to write what they want on their own will they are totally lost and confused. So now the question is: how is a good introduction done and how can a college writer start out a paper with a good introduction?
After going through many different observations and interviews with teachers and other college students, I best believe that college instructors main focus should be on how to write a good introduction as a college writer. The earlier this should start, the better. 
    The following were the most perceptive on the topic: 
  • Tutoring Observation at the OSU Newark Writing Studio
  • Surveyed college students 
I attended the Writer’s Studio at The Ohio State University at Newark campus to observe a tutor and her student have a session about an assigned paper. After the observation, I interviewed Nikki, a former OSU Newark campus student who had returned because of her love for writing and the need to help other students with writing. As a former student she has been in most student’s situation before and knew what college writers usually went through. When I met up with her, we discussed about the session. She worked with her student Adelaide Abbey, on a research paper for her English class. I asked her about what she had said to Adelaide on writing a good introduction. Then I asked why is supporting your thesis so important when writing your introduction and how does it fit in your writing?

Following that I made a survey through the website Survey Monkey where I was able to ask different college students from other schools about college writing. In total I surveyed 17 people which kind of put me in shock because I did not think people would take them, even other students from other schools took their rime to participate. One of the questions that I asked was “what you struggle with most when writing a paper?” and “what are the first steps that you take when starting to write a paper?” Getting those responses made me move onto to asking this question: “when writing a paper which one of the following options do you do first?” The most checked response was to make an outline, which I taught was very helpful.

Overall I have to agree with what Fish says in his essay but he needs to add the fact that most of these colleges lack the teaching of writing a good introduction. It’s the most important thing that you need for a paper besides the conclusion. Most of fishers ideas were on point but not the best advice.

Nothing Fishy About Citation

In Stanley Fish's New York Times article What Should Colleges Teach? Part 3, he argues that the most important thing to learn about college writing is the structure of sentences. He says that "basically, there is only one thing to be learned, that a sentence is a structure of logical
Searching for answers.
relationships; everything else follows." He also believes that high school and middle school teachers are to blame when it comes to a college student's lack of writing skills. I do not believe that this is all on the teachers, but I do agree that sentence structure is important. However, is sentence structure the only important thing to teach?

I wanted to find out from others what they thought was important to college writing. I started at the Writers Studio at my school, The Ohio State University at Newark. I had the opportunity to observe a tutoring session with another student there and then interviewed that tutor. The topic of citing kept coming up. I then surveyed a dozen college students and interviewed a former teacher at the University of Illinois at Chicago and got their opinions on citing in college. Most of the college students answered saying that avoiding plagiarism was a major reason for citation. Tom Moss, the teacher from UIC, agreed with me by saying that citation is a great way to show the credibility of your work.

I think citing is a topic that is not talked about enough in schools, and some students don't even know why we cite. The importance of citation needs to be taught. So we can evade plagiarism, make our writing more credible, and so on. When I was in grade school I remember
But seriously... just cite.
spending weeks learning about the structure of sentences and paragraphs, but I only spent about fifteen minutes talking about citing. And now that I'm in college I realize that, yes sentence structure is important and can help you get a better grade BUT without citing you have a good chance of failing that paper, or even worse, getting expelled.

To sum up my thoughts on Fish, yes I agree that teaching the structure of sentences is important, but so is learning why we cite and how to do it. In my opinion, I think that Fish was just a little bit obsessed with sentences and I wonder why he didn't want other things to be taught. But think about this, when you cite in-text, the citation is literally a part of the sentence!

Revising where would we be without it?

In an article written by Stanley Fish, In the article "What should College Teach?" in the article, Fish argues that High schools don't fully prepare Incoming College students for Writing in College. He strongly believes that they aren't equipped with the rights tools to write a proper sentence. As far stuff like grammar and goes. He says ''students should get to have their own variety and pattern of language''. He says that students are so unprepared for College writing that College Professor's have to reteach certain aspects all over again. Which is somewhere true, but mainly I think he's forgetting that it's just basic stuff like how to use grammar and writing in different ways, then we would have in high school.

I agree with Fish, to a certain degree. Yes as incoming freshmen in English 1109, who have never been to College before. I don't think we know how to properly write good sentences or papers for that matter. But I don't think he is giving students enough credit, by saying that what students learned in high school is completely useless. To me I think of writing as like a muscle in our body, the more we do it the better we get at it. That's why writing is so different from each stage of schooling. Each level of it is important. Think of it like lifting weights. You can't start lifting the most heavy weight in the room, you have to work your way up by building strength, by lifting smaller weights, then moving on to larger ones. High school is just one level below College. Personally I learned a lot about writing in High school, if gave me common grounds and things to work off of when I first started writing in College. If I didn't have those ideas or experience from high school at that level. I would be in trouble.

 When it comes to what is the most important thing to teach in College Writing, there are many
things. Revision has to one of them. I think Revision is the one of the most important parts of writing in general. In my opinion it's also one of the easiest, things to do. Because you already have the hard stuff out of the way, which is a lot research and of course writing. What's great about revision is all you have to do is take the stuff you have already written and just making a few small changes on it.

it all starts with one idea.
I figured this out, when I observed a student needing help with their paper, in the Writers Studio on the Ohio state Newark campus. When I observed a tutor help a student, the Student was worried that his paper didn't make sense, or wasn't good. The tutor looked over it, and the student had actually written a good paper, it just needed a few changes to make it better.  The tutor did something even more interesting that I personally had never seen before. The tutor printed out a copy of the students paper, and made some edits on the copy of where she thought spelling was off, or a sentence didn't make sense. The Tutor made all the edits on the copy, and not on the actual document. So the student could clearly see where they needed to fix some things. Really just fixing a few small
mistakes was the only problem the student had. For the most part you generally get the nail on the wall with the first draft of where you want to end up. It just needs polished to shine brighter. I started to notice that Revision was a major part of writing, because when I had to write another paper for another class, the Teacher told me, I got a bad grade on the paper, but My grade could have been better if I had reread over the paper a few times, because some of the sentences didn't make any sense.

I did some more research on the topic as the year went on. Interviewed the tutor, and asked why they thought printing it out, really helped. They Said, "It really helps them see where things need fixed, also I just give them so ideas of how to fix them, so in case they come up with better ideas later on of how to fix it, then they can use those instead of mine. Because generally they will find better ideas, then what I come up with, which is good, because it's not my paper. Or my work. I'm just here to push them in the right direction." I was also given the chance to email a professor outside of school named Brendon Lee, a former College professor at Columbia College in Chicago. He got a masters in English. I asked him if people missed anything in Revision or were doing it wrong, his response surprised me at first. "I'm not sure how to answer that. Many of my students don't revise. They want to get in and get out." is what he said. Which is true the more I think about it, could be one reason why our papers in High school, and sometimes now aren't so good. it could be why it lead Fish to
think that Students aren't prepared for College. Revision is important it's double checking to make sure everything is good, and makes sense. it's a way of organizing. I asked professor Brendon why revision is important  he said. "Revision is critical to the writing process because it allows you to get your words / ideas in the exact format you would like them to be in, which is something we can't do in normal speech. You can catch grammar errors, make sure you use apt evidence to support claims, etc." he also added "It's important to think of writing as a process. The more drafts, the better it'll likely be." I have to say learning from my own experience that writing multiple drafts and really looking at it again helps a ton, when writing. I have noticed that I didn't like the way I worded something. Once I read my final draft compared to my first, they were completely different, and my final was way better than my draft.

"Just double checking!"
I do agree with Fish, that knowing how to write a proper sentence and using English as a language to it's full potential is important thing to teach in College. If you can't write a proper sentence with the right grammar, then you paper will fall apart. But I don't think it's the only thing that should be taught in College. There are many important things that you have to teach students in College writing. I think Revision is one of them. It can literally change a C- paper into an A+ paper with just a few small changes. It really can make a difference. In my experience of writing in College so far, it's taking writing in general to a whole new level. It's like taking everything I have learned from the past few years of my life and testing their limits, and pushing them further than I could have expected. I may not have been fully prepared for College writing like fish thinks, but when you really think about it. How can you really be prepared for anything. Life has it's ways of throwing punches at you. The only thing you can do about it is keep on your feet, and do the best that can. I believe that's what we all are doing.

A college way to fish

Stanley Fish, wrote an article that was called What should colleges teach? Part 3. In this article, he explained how the high school teachers are not doing right by teaching the students the correct things to know for when they eventually start college, not even the middle school teachers are correct. In this article he stated, "First, you must clear your mind of the orthodoxies that have taken hold in the composition world." Which is very similar to my topic about brainstorming, clearing the mind first before anything else.

According to The Writing Studio at Colorado State University, "brainstorming is an informal way of generating topics to write about, or points to make about your topic. The writing studio stresses this informality...The important point about brainstorming is that there should be no pressure to be 'brilliant.' Students should simply open their minds to whatever pops into them." This quote ties in with Stanley Fish's comment because each quote refers to clearing the mind of everything you are used to doing. Our brains are always program to think, so it may be harder for others to even be able to clear their mind to focus on one topic instead of multiple topics at once. When thinking about one specific topic though you shouldn't think too hard, because it will create writers block and will prevent you from thinking of other ideas to further explain.
My brain has left

So, while I was completing my spring semester at The Ohio State University at Newark I used different data gathering assignments, for me to do my research for my big paper for my English 1109 class. I observed a tutoring session with the tutor named John, and a student named Teressa to gather information. After the session I was able to interview John, to get his feedback on topics they discussed. Once that was done, I created my own online survey and sent it to other college students to get feedback on their college writing experiences. After gathering information, I created an annotated bibliography which includes: a web source, a book source, and a journal article. Lastly, I had an email interview with a college professor Michael Czyzniejewski and was able to get more answers and his opinions.

When I first read Fish's article, I could see that he was correct when he stated how the teachers haven't prepared the students. In the results I received from my online survey, each college student struggled with the same thing in college writing which was organization. It's different when one person says their struggling, but when multiple people, who don't even know each other all say they are struggling with the same college writing aspect, then there is a true problem with the teachers. When you are not taught something correctly, it can truly affect future situations that happen because you will not be prepared, so you will not know what to do or how to even do it.
Please, no more questions!

After completely reading Fish's article and comparing it to my own research, it is safe to say that brainstorming should be taught more in the writing classrooms. Students struggle in college when they are trying to write a paper. It's common for college students to not be interested or motivated for their papers, but by using brainstorming you can include interests that you are passionate about. Including your interests can make it more fun because when you are interested in a topic you will be more motivated to write about it. If teachers were more encouraging on making students brainstorm before writing, they will be able to think clearly, and even quicken the writing process because they will know exactly what to talk about. Students can even use collaborative brainstorming if they are able to work in pairs or groups. It can help create new topics to talk about and get more in depth about topics one already has considered.This option of brainstorming is also important because some may think of ideas they would have never thought of before and can include that in their writing and improve it and make it stronger. Collaborative brainstorming helps students because it can bring thoughts together since we all think differently.
wow..I came a long way but I get it and understand!

Sentence Organization and outlines

What should be taught in college writing? In my 1109 English class we got introduced to an article what should colleges teach, part 3.  by Stanley Fish. In this article, he talks about how students come into college without knowing basic writing skills, due to high schools not teaching them properly. Fish also said, "basically, there is only one thing to be learned, that a sentence is a structure of logical relationships; everything else follows." So Fish believes that sentence structure is important. Why do we care what Fish thinks? Not only did Fish get his article posted in New York Times, but also has been teaching since 1986. He's taught at many different university's, and he's currently teaching at  Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In Newark York City. 
I wouldn't necessarily say I disagree with Fish's claim, that sentence structure is something important that should be taught. I think it's very important, but I happen to think teaching students to create an outline is more important. Outlining helps with organization, the structure of your paper, and revision. I also believe outlining is able to help with sentence structure by helping you break things down.

However, something I do agree with Fish on is that high schools didn't teach enough to prepare you for college. Obviously, when going into college you find it's more strict than high school is. There's completely different expectations than what you're used to. From personal experience and from the responses from the research I've done, I noticed a lot of us had a hard time with organization. That is something I would like to see high schools focus more on. Learning to create strong outlines to help with that.

When I was in high school we talked a little about how to create an outline, but they never made it seem like a big deal. They never made it clear on how helpful outlines really are. So, a lot of students didn't use them, including myself. There's so many papers that could have gotten a better grade had we been introduced to outlining more. Once I got to college, it all changed for me. 

This semester in college I had the opportunity of doing an observation with a student who was in an English 1110.03 class and I had an interview with a tutor named Lisa at the Ohio State University Newark Writers Studio. From there, I furthered my research with a survey I created for college students to take. I set up a another interview, but this time with teacher Karen Craigo who has been teaching since 1998. Lastly, I got to read some peer reviewed journals about outlining. 

I think the moment that stands out the most through all of my research goes back to the very beginning. In my observation with the student from the Writer's Studio, she had a hard time organizing her thoughts, and getting it from her head to the paper. So, the tutor had the idea to create an outline and from there on, the student was able to get a start to her paper and she was able to figure out what each paragraph would be about. Witnessing that helped me understand how helpful outlining really is. I was able to see how relieved the student was once she was able to get her thoughts together and organized.

The next time you have a big paper due, and you aren't sure how to begin it. Take a piece of paper, or a notebook, or even get on your computer and type up an outline. It doesn't have to be perfect, but just get your thoughts out. Don't worry about what's missing and what's not there yet, you will have time to go back later and fill that all in. If you want, just start with an outline that helps your sentence structure, like Fish said. Sentences are always important too. Once you have your outline created, you're already on your way to an A+ paper. So I'll ask the question again. What should be taught in college writing? The answer is one simple word, outlining.

Make an Outline your favorite part of writing

Do you want to be this stressed ? 
We all know that writing could be a hassle at times, especially for some. According to Fish, high school and middle schools are not teaching writing skills well, and honestly, I do agree with him. Stanley Fish wrote an article titled What Should Colleges Teach? Part 3. In this article he says that because students are coming in to college without being able to write "clean English sentences" and the college professors must make up for it. At this point you might be wondering who is this Stanley Fish? Stanley Fish is a Professor of Humanities and Law at Florida International University, he taught at other universities and wrote 15 books, so you can see he's credible.

Fish says that sentence structure is important in writing, and even though I do agree with him I feel that without planning, thinking, free writing, you won't be able to get the write sentence structure, you possibly won't know where to start. A couple weeks ago I was able observe a student during a tutoring session at The Ohio State University Newark Writers Studio and during that tutoring session the student started with an outline.
Road Map:Outline

I also remember looking up the definition of an outline from The University of Kansas Writing Center and what stood out to me was that "there are as many types of outlines as there are writers" meaning there is no one way to create an outline. In Fish's blog he brings up a time when he told his students to take a sentences like "John hit the ball' or "Jane likes cake" and make it to 100 words. this idea stood out to me because I thought about how difficult this might be, and how if I had to do something like that I would be erasing and adding a lot. Therefore I think thats when an outline would be helpful. You can start off with adding words that might make sense in the sentence.

it would help if you start with "broader topics and then work toward the specifics. " An outline is there for your needs, like a road map, or a GPS. When we are lost and need help getting to our destination we turn on our GPS. In this case the "Jane likes cake" or "John hit the ball" would be the starting point and the destination is the end hundred words . When I did the survey, I asked the students, how often do you create an outline before writing a paper, and most students picked one or less, I noticed that students see it as an option, I also noticed that students had a hard time starting a paper and keeping it flowing especially when the topic is about something you don’t know about. That’s why I think an outline should be a necessary step.

So yes, I do agree with Stanley Fish that sentence structure is important in writing, but I also think that you should always start with an outline first. Starting an outline should be made into a priority and not an option, especially if you have time. Make it a habit, and see how it goes . But try it, what do you have to lose? 

Nothing like Grammar


What should college teach?,” by Stanley Fish makes some sense to me, because some students come to college as English Language Learners and other students did not learn grammar when they were in school. Those students get to their college classes and they cannot put a basic sentence together. Therefore, the professor does not have enough time to teach grammar in the class. The next thing students do is go to the writing center, where they try to show students the meaning of the papers and fix their grammar by reading aloud.
we both think grammar is important for college writer 

With respect, I agree in some way with Stanley Fish, because we all know that the important part of college writing is grammar and sentence structure so students can communicate information. So the importance of teaching grammar and the correct way of using the language is to show how to use the language, because it will be harder to write or to speak it if students do not know how to use it. This not only true with ELL students, but also native English speakers as well because they will not able to write if they do know how to use the correct grammar.

During my second semester in English 1109 I had an opportunity to do some research about college writing by asking different types of questions on Survey Monkey. The survey consisted of seven questions about college writing. Also,during my observation time with Sidney Kelley and Precious in the writing studio,I saw that when Sidney was helping Pleasure with her paper, Sidney was reading her paper aloud and this gave me an idea about what college writers do. Also, I interviewed John Wetzel in the Writing Studio for 30 minutes. When I asked him about how he helps student in writing studio with editing paper, he said, I will make them read the paper out loud. This lead me to discover reading aloud is important for collage writers. Lastly, as part of my research, I emailed Dr. David Arenas. When I asked him, “What is the advantage to reading your own writing aloud?” He responded, “ Reading aloud, I refine the text grammatically and stylistically.” I agree with Dr. David Arenas’ opinion that reading aloud helps with grammar mistakes.

writing studio with tutor
Okay, so why do I agree with Fish that the important part of college writing is grammar? As you read, my topic is reading aloud, which shows how very much similar the ideas we both have about grammar are, including how to identify the correct grammar by reading aloud. When you read aloud you may notice things that you did not see, like grammar errors. During my observation time with Sidney, I saw that when she was helping Pleasure with her paper, Sidney was reading the paper aloud, and as she did, Precious was listening to her and noticed things that she did not see before. Also, she heard errors in her sentences; sometimes writers leave out a word, or make a grammar mistake that they do not realize.

So okay, Fish and I had the same idea that grammar is important for college writers, but I am more likely to encourage reading aloud to correct your grammar and improve your writing. The reason why is that when I interviewed John Wetzel in the,The Ohio Sate University Writing Studio at Newark, and I asked him about how he helps student in the Writing Studio with editing papers, he said, “when I help a student by editing I will make them read the paper out loud and listen for errors, because when they listen carefully, they will be able to correct any errors that they hear." I agree with John, and in my opinion, reading your work aloud can be very helpful for many reasons as noted by some of the other professors. You can hear what you wrote. All my professors used to tell us to read our papers out loud as part of the editing and proofreading process.

 Reading aloud has many benefits that I want to share with college student writers. Catching grammatical mistakes is so important to college writing because without proper punctuation, things can get confusing. While Stanley Fish makes a great argument on the importance of grammar in college writing, and I agree with him in some ways, it should be encouraged by reading aloud.