Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fishing for the Right Education

“What Should Colleges Teach?” is by Stanley Fish. In Fish’s article 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.” I agree with this statement that college teachers are having to pick up the missing pieces from high school but I feel that more important things could be focused on for preparing us. Something that I feel should be focused on is showing students how to do good research.

After spending 8 weeks in the Writer’s Studio observing a student and a tutor for my English class I have noticed that one of the more important parts of writing was the research that you had to do to find your information and the details to support your topic and also the sources that you use to make your paper more reliable. These items can help to better develop a more knowledgeable paper and find information that is reliable. But, in order to do the research you need there’s a few things that you need to know and that is how to do the research. That is what I believe that students need to be taught in the classroom.

To any student who procrastinates, this is relatable
Students often sit down 12 hours before their paper is due and expect all of their ideas to just come to them without doing any research at all. Well these students seem to have trouble writing about the topic that they are assigned. This could be many things but typically it’s because they don’t know much about the topic they are writing about. Students need to be taught the directions of how to do research.
Let's face it, we don't all have money to blow
The reasons that I believe that students don’t do as much research is because they simply don’t know where to look for the information they need. During one of my tutoring sessions that I observed the student told the tutor that he needed two more sources for his paper. The tutor then showed the student how to order books from the OSUN library for this student to use as a source. By knowing this information you can find these articles easily and best of all for free which is fabulous for every college student trying to save money cause let’s face it college isn’t cheap.

Sometimes after you are sitting down and researching is that there are always so many search results to look through about your topic. What we might ask ourselves though is “How do I look through all of these results?” The best way to narrow down your search results is to use an advanced search because advanced searching will narrow down your search results so you can find articles that are only about what you want to read and learn about.

After you narrow your results down and you find a few that look like they might be worth looking at, what are you going to do? Read all of the articles? No, most college students don’t even have enough time to sit and do the paper until last minute so why would they read articles that could be up to 25 pages long? They don’t. But what do they do to figure out what the article is about? They read the abstract, which will make it quicker to know what the article is about without reading the whole thing because it is a spot on summary of the article.

By observing in these eight week sessions in the writer’s studio I got to experience college writing being done first hand and see the different elements that are needed to develop a well written and reliable college paper. Although we will never know every single thing that is needed for a perfect college paper we can at least know how to at least start to do research to start typing the paper.


As I was going through Middle and High School, I thought that the reading and writing I was being taught, was to prepare me for college level writing.  That was the system for elementary to middle, middle to high school was, boy was I wrong.  College level writing has many expectations from the students, even though the students didn’t learn them where they should have.  Many don’t even know what the expectations are for writing, which isn’t helping our future generation to become successful.

when kids need to learn
Stanley Fish thinks that teaching his students sentence structure will improve the student’s success in writing.   Stanley thought that teaching how to write sentences would be helpful and make a structure for writing.  Stanley said “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.”  If students were able to be taught a better way in the younger year’s maybe college writing wouldn’t be so difficult for students.  Stanley Fish has a good point in teaching college students the structure for sentences, which turns many sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs to essay.  I think that adding his idea to a more detailed list would make it more productive in the classroom for college students. 

When I was reading this article, it reminded me of the research paper I wrote on “What is college level writing”.  One part of my research was in the writing studio at OSU Newark, OH, where I observed a couple of students working on their college papers.  I had seen a structure with different types of sentences that makes the introduction structure, the way sentences makes paragraphs, also what types of ways to make sure that all the sentences make sense to flow correctly.  Using these has helped me in writing papers for college, and has helped other students, that maybe didn’t realize it at the time. 

Teaching what type of sentences to write in the introduction helps the student by attracting an audience, helps show what the paper is going to be about, and creates a structure for the rest of the paper.  The first type of sentence is to attract an audience, something interesting, which is called the hook.  There should be a sentence that shows why someone should care to read the paper.  The last sentence show what the whole paper is going to be about, which is called a thesis.  Using this shows what the paper is about, also helps the student have a structure of the paper.  Each paragraph here after is to show or prove what the thesis is, and why. 

funny example of topic sentence

Every paragraph has many sentences that tells about a topic, but if not correctly using the sentences then it doesn’t improve the paper.  With paragraphs the information in them is completely different, but they have a structure that makes them similar.  Teaching this structure of sentences helps improves how the thesis is explained in the rest of the paper, also helps with a layout of how a paragraph can be structure.  The first sentences should show what the topic of that paragraph is going to be about, then add other information that expand that sentence.  Then the last sentence is what helps bring the reader to the next paragraph, which is called the transition sentences.

There is many ways to check your paper to know if the sentences flow correctly, but learning some techniques can improve the structure of the paper.  One technique is using a sentences to see if the paragraphs are in order, you can cut each paragraph out then mix them up.  You then read the topic sentence and the transition sentences of each paragraph, they should go in order by one talking about the last sentence of the paragraph before it.  This can be used in a way that helps by check what the instructor wants.  There is also ways to check the sentence structure inside the paragraph.  It’s almost the same as the other, but cut each sentence in one paragraph at a time.  Then try to put them in order by reading the sentence using the knowledge of the topic and transition sentences.  Another way to help improve the teaching of writing.

Learning how to structure all the sentences is great, and having a book that teaches the students a way to have a structure for writing a sentences itself,   Stanley teaches his students how to write sentences, he said that “my students into the class taught by Cathy Birkenstein and Gerald Graff, whose excellent book “They Say / I Say” introduces students to the forms of argument in a spirit entirely compatible with my focus on the forms of sentences."  That book he talks about is the same book I used in my English class, it has many different ways to write certain sentences that help them sound proper.  It has templates, pointing words, and more, that has shown you the way to write and how to use words that goes best with your topic, which has helped many students.

Responding in kind; Analyze

Stanley Fisher is a literary theorist and professor at the Cardozo law school. His argument he poses in his article, what should Colleges teach? Part 3, is that students should learn how to write academically very early, earlier than college or high school. He also states that the key to any good writer is a good reader. He argues that the amount of teaching previous teachers bear down upon college professors is too much. And those college professors shouldn’t be responsible for teaching students how to write.

Teachers need not be overstressed!
During my time in English 1109 this semester with Mr. Boezkowski, I spent 8 weeks in an observational setting at the OSU NewarkWriters Studio. In these observations I was able to better understand the things college writers focus on when writing. I noted that the ability to analyze properly while using clear academic voice is the most important tool in writing at the college level. I used this research as evidence as support in my claims.

Prose, or academic voice, is very important to a college writer’s arsenal of tools for success. A writer can ruin an entire academic paper by simply using too casual of a voice for the setting in which he or she is writing. The voice the reader hears while reading can also help to engage them further into the written piece. It can also do the exact opposite and bore them to the point where they will not even listen, or recognize the key parts of the piece. You must find the healthy medium between using interesting details and academic knowledge at the same time in your writing.

Finding the delicate balance of academic and engaging writing

I agree with Dr. Fisher in his regards to the importance of academic voice in writing; however he states that, how to write a sentence is ALL you need. There is a fundamental flaw in this though; college writing is much more than just knowing how to write coherent and intelligent sentences. Success is achieved by yes, an attention to academic voice but also, maybe even more importantly, have an ability to analyze a source clearly and effectively in relation to your argument. College students must be able to master the art of thinking, before they can write a halfway decent academic paper, if all teachers focus on is sentence structure, the students writing will never mature into academic writers. The Ability to analyze means to “Process as a method of studying the nature of something or of determining its essential features and their relations” Students need to understand how to determine relationships and essential features the artist uses to try and get his point across in any given work.

Stanley Fish bring up some interesting points about early education and sentence structure but in my opinion I think there is a little more to college writing than that. Students need to come to college with a clear knowledge of how to not only write a proper sentence but also the ability to reinforce that sentence with accurate evidence and academic knowledge from the text.

Fishing & Reading

Kids happily reading
“What Should Colleges Teach? Part 3” written by Stanley Fish is an article talking about writing in college. He posed a question asking about should writing be taught long before students get to high school or even earlier on in middle school. He states “By all the evidence, high schools and middle schools are not teaching writing skills in an effective way.” This is kind of true now because I wasn't really prepared for writing in college while in high school. They only taught us basic things that don’t really have to do with college. He also asked another question regarding if reading should be the key to learning how to write?  

I really liked the part where Fish said writing should start out in middle and high school. That’s so true because I feel like in high school they are not preparing us for College writing at all. It’s hard when you come to college thinking that you are ready and all when you are not. High school teachers are leaving all the work to College professors. All 4 years of high school should be preparing us for college writing, so when we do get to college we have an idea of what we are getting into. It shouldn't be when we get to college then we start learning basic things that should’ve been taught in high school or middle school. It actually slows us down and now we haven’t really learned anything useful that we could bring with us to college.

I also agree with Fish when he said that students need to learn how to read from a young age. Reading and writing go hand in hand and that’s where I have a problem. I don’t really read books all like that and I only read when I have to. I think that’s where I struggle with writing, if I was to read more I think I would love writing more and have more to talk about. I did an eight-week observation on a one-on-one tutor and student session and it has opened my eyes a lot on college writing. I noticed that every time my student Jenna would come in she would have all these sources she was reading from and it helped her expand her paper a lot. Fish said that the relationship of reading and writing is very important, and I actually seen the difference if you do read you get better at writing or at least you know what to write about.

Lisa from the Simpsons
Those are important for college writing but I think the main thing is a thesis statement. Thesis statement is the make or break of your paper. If your thesis is not strong your paper is not strong either. The thesis is what’s supposed to catch the reader’s eye and state what you are going to be talking about throughout your paper. A lot of students have a problem with the thesis because I think it’s the hardest part of the paper. Jenna had a hard time with her thesis, and the PWC helped her work on it and told her think of it as “A change B because of C” and that’s how she looked at the layout of the thesis.

Overall I have to agree with what Fish says in his essay but he needs to add thesis to his claims. It’s the most important thing that you need for a paper besides sentence structure and learning how to write since middle or high school. He figured out the little things that college writing needs but he didn't talk about the most important one of them all. 

Focused on Fishing

While I was reading Mr. Fish’s argument on college level writing and the points he was trying to prove I toke interest in what he was saying because I agree with the argument he was stating. College level writing is more complicated then high school writing and most teachers don't really prepare the students from the transition from high school to college level writing. Most of the teacher in high school have a guideline they have to follow threw out the whole year so they don't spend too much time on specific topic so there for the students have trouble getting all the information they need in the future.

College level writing in my opinion is controlled by our educators at the end of the day you can incorporate you own identity in your work give it your own flow but if you don’t meet the criteria of what is expected you won’t advance or get very far. There are times where college level writing can be open and let individuals really express their selves but the times that happens are when the educators gives them a break from what is expected from them and lets them actually give their own though and only then you can see what the writer has to offer. It’s hard to see what individuals are really capable of if the expectations are set high for them. Developing and honing your skills can be hard if you don’t get time to actually learn. College level writing can be a challenge for some because it fast paced and more excel but for those who are quick on their feet and can catch on to what needs to be done the they can succeed and get very far in college level writing.

I came to an understanding that in order to have your own identity and still get a good feedback form the teachers on the expectation they are expecting my paper I had to combine both of my skills on what I have learned and what I have seen so far in my first year in college. Adjusting from high school writing to college writing was a tough one for me but I have learned to mix things up as the style I have now and my way to attack my work in a sense of achieving my goal in the long run. The observation sessions really taught me there is more to college level writing at first I just thought there was a ladder to climb starting from the level you place in. little did I know that there is more that goes into every level of college level writing.

Fish highlights a lot of meaning facts in his article that is true in my opinion he lets the reader know that what goes on in the school are impacting the output the students have on when they get to college if the students don’t get the best education and best understanding on what really goes on in college level writing how will they understand and how will they put what they having learned to work.

Fish also talks about some topics that I have discussed in my paper how college paper is what it is and from all the researched gathered a college paper has to be creditable. A college paper takes a lot of process as fish stated so are all the students getting the right education and are they really gathering the knowledge to come in to college with a good mindset on what they have to get done and most importantly will they exceed the expectations of their new educators to make target the circular and make the best of what they are given. So as of now in my opinion teachers should start cracking down and push students more so when they get to college it’s a walk in the park.

Without Details, There Would Be No You!

Does a deployed member of the military have the same experiences as a McDonalds worker? What about someone who came from a bad part of Chicago compared to someone who grew up in the country? Students come from many backgrounds and have such different experiences in life. These differences cause students to attain different skills in life as well as writing, which can make it difficult for teaching. So the question is what do you teach in college classrooms. Stanley Fish answers with his opinion as he wrote the article “What should colleges teach?” which was published by the New York Times. This article states that students are coming into college without knowing basic writing skills. According to Fish, the most important skill that needs to be learned is sentence structure. He states in his article, “Basically, there is only one thing to be learned, that a sentence is a structure of logical relationships; everything else follows.” But who is Fish? Why is his opinion important? His opinion came from experience as a professor of humanities and law at Florida International University, in Miami. He has also taught at other universities including the University of California at Berkley and Duke University and is the author of 15 books.

I do agree with Fish that teaching sentence structure is important in writing, but I have come to find out that is not the only important skill college writing requires. I had the opportunity to observe tutoring sessions at the Ohio State University at Newark Writer's Studio. During this time, I spent 8 weeks observing sessions between a student and his tutor, which gave me great insight on what college writing really is. I actually used these sessions to write my own paper on what college level writing is, which lead me to discover details are a very important factor in writing.

Fish does bring up details in one specific way when he is, “asking students to turn a three-word sentence like “Jane likes cake” into a 100-word sentence without losing control of the basic structure and then explain, word-by-word, clause-by-clause, what they did." This shows that details would be added but should not change the sentence's form. Details are important in the sense of understanding how to structure a sentence properly, but there are so many more aspects to details! Details can impact writing in multiple ways, from giving you a very descriptive view of an image allowing you to visualize it yourself, to giving you specific facts on any particular item.

There is no way you could visualize this picture without
including descriptive details.
Descriptive details carry a major role in a writer's paper as it encourages the reader to use their imagination and visualize what you are describing. For example, what if I just told you I would include a picture of fish staring at worms on a hook? You would not be able to grasp the see the little details included in the picture which gives it the importance, or in this case, the comedy behind it.

There are other types of details that should be taught in classrooms that play a role in writing, such as facts. Facts actually play a major role in any type of writing as it brings credibility to your view and your paper as a whole. Would you believe that one of the greatest baseball players ever, Babe Ruth, only made $80,000 a year at his best, when a steroid using Alex Rodriguez made $33,000,000? I would not be able to explain any of this to you without facts.

All of these examples I have provided to you have allowed you to relate what I am trying to convey regarding details. The examples themselves are a form of details! These examples allow you to take the abstract ideas I am talking about and transform them into concrete images.

Ross was always very detailed with his paintings,
from his happy trees to correcting mistakes by creating birds.
Do you remember the painter Bob Ross who was famous for painting his "happy trees" on TV? He was very detailed with his paintings, making them look very similar to a photograph. If you do not remember him, I have included an example of his painting. On the other hand, anecdotes provide you with the personal experience from others, which allows you to relate to the topic. Anecdotes are part of your everyday life; think about the conversations you have had today. How could Fish only want to teach sentence structure when there are so many other important aspects to writing?

Although Fish did have it right that sentence structure is a key skill in developing a college level writer, there are so many other skills required. What about the importance of the thesis statement, Mr. Fish? Understanding how to research, how to analyze what the author's message is saying, and understanding the expectations of the different teachers are only a few other examples of important aspects of writing that should be taught. All of these writing skills are important, but the key behind every outstanding paper is always found in the smallest of details. Can you imagine living your life without details? Hey Fish, can you pick up my monkey from Petland tomorrow at 1pm? Without details this would just say, Hey, can you go for me?

Reeling in our education

Truth be told writing is hard and they honestly don’t prepare you for what college is in the lower grades, what fish states is  true. I mean look at what I had to do, an entire paper on what a source is, I mean I feel as though that should be told to us before we hit college and the big pond. In the beginning of his article he presents a bulleted list and it states three major things, “: (1) isn’t the mastery of forms something that should be taught in high school or earlier? (2) Isn’t extensive reading the key to learning how to write? (3) What would a composition course based on the method I urge look like? Questions (1) and (2) can be answered briefly. Question (3) is, as they say, a work in progress. 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.”
 The funny thing is I went to a catholic high school and the challenges I faced school wise and English wise where greater than the rewards reaped. I agree with fish when he says that the mastery of certain forms (aka the source and so on), should be taught earlier because it would definitely take the weight off of the college professors shoulders and help us as students’ progress even quicker and more efficiently in our education.

 As stated before I don’t agree with the fact that catholic schools prepare you more or what’s to come, they did prepare us extensively for things we needed in college and education, but to a certain extent and it did nothing to prepare us for what college was really going to be like or the extensive workload. They didn’t prepare me for things like what a source is and what it does, why it’s important, or what a source analysis is or why you need to back up the source of the source. They set you up extensively for the basics but not the more in depth things we actually need to know before entering into college and what it really is and what it really has to offer.
 Fish said this,” How does one teach such a course? What texts can one use? How does one affect the passage from sentences to larger prose units? “How do you determine whether and in what ways [this] approach improves . . . students’ writing,” asks James Gee. My answers to these questions are provisional. I’m still trying to work them out.” To every extent after reading this statement I believe that the professors and college teachers carry a heavy burden, I mean I didn’t even know what a source was (I had a general grasp but it was nowhere near as in depth as what I researched and found out), if only the curriculum was shifted a bit so it was better for us as students. 

 Professors and teachers are underpaid as it is and their schooling never stops, why not have them put in the extra effort and time to help set us up for the future and pay them what they deserve? It’s ridiculous, fish is right in order to be prepared we need to be prepared by those before we get into college. Fish states that the most important part of writing and what helps the student the most is sentence structure . This what needs to be emphasized and worked on the most with students and a heavy burden that teachers and college professors have to deal with. In order to be successful as a college student we need to know this, without structure we have no sentence and without no sentence we have nothing to base our source off of. And fish was right in saying we need to be prepared for such things.
The concept of the source ,is hard to grasp in of its self  so the fact that were not taught what it is before we reach the college level is crazy. Fish touches major points in his essay, he tells you the truth. It’s as though the education system leaves the weight of the world on the shoulders of the college professors in a field that gets paid the least. Like English, math, science, and so on. When it comes to college, fish, and the blog as a whole I would agree and say it’s left up to the higher education system to teach the basics in a new and more detailed way. The lower grades should have done it before, the weight would be less.

By: Shiesa Hill

Something seems Fishy around here...

 Mr.Stanely Fish, a Professor at Florida International University, wrote an article for The New York Times arguing that a lot of pressure is being weighed on these college professors, in trying to assist in the success of college writers. Fish states that reading and writing is something that should be practiced way before students get to college; not while already attending college. Well, Fishy, I think you're on to something, because I could not agree more. Reading and writing are two important things that should be taught early on, so it gives kids the head start that will eventually be valuable when they reach not only a College status, but within their careers; reading and writing is required EVERYWHERE that you go.

"Stay with me!"
College writing is more than just t's crossed and i's dotted; it's sentence structure, organization, brainstorming, theses, and creativity. Without the knowledge of those key components, you will surely struggle in College reading and writing courses; especially the lack of knowledge on thesis statements, which is the heart of every paper.  Without it, you're paper will not function. Over a period of eight weeks, I got the opportunity to research my theory on theses. For my English 1109 course, I was required to observe a fellow student, who also was required to meet in the OSU Newark's Writer's Studio, for assistance on one of her major papers. After about the second week of observing, that's when it all dawned on me...College students don't know jack squat about college writing! The student that I observed had a very difficult time connecting her entire essay to her thesis, which was her main point. Though she had little grammatical errors, the PWC (peer writing counselor) had a hard time following her point throughout her essay.

 Fish made a point that learning should start way before middle school and high school, that reading and writing should be a priority even in Kindergarten. It may sound silly to teach kids who can barely tie their shoes about sentence structure, thesis statements, etc., but it is simply a stepping stone to what will be expected of them later on in their academic career. Imagine, a six year old being able to explain what a thesis statement is! Think how much easier it would be for her in middle school, high school, and then college. Without the knowledge of how to accurately produce a thesis statement, how can a College Professor have high expectations for a student's essay, when a thesis makes up the entire paper? They can't, and I think that is the point that Fish is trying to make.

While sentence structure  is important in tying your paper together with the thesis, the importance of creativity and authenticity in your thesis may also be a key component in having a successful and entertaining essay; which was seen in the first couple of observations. the PWC had asked the student, "How can you pull the reader into this paper, do you want to start with a question or maybe a quote?" This can be difficult for some college students, because when writing a paper, you can become so obsessed with gathering evidence and quotes, and be so caught up in writing about FACTS, that we forget about keeping our readers interested in what we're writing about! Like the intro in an essay, it is nice to have the thesis catch the reader's attention. When reading any book, essay, newspaper, etc. It has been my experience to be very helpful when the thesis statement is somewhat entertaining and creative, because it seems to stick with me throughout the entire paper and it is easier for me to refer back to the main point when a topic in the essay may come up that I do not fully understand. No one wants their paper to be unclear to the point it makes the reader want to give up; or worse, fall asleep.

 Teachers were once college students, which means that they too had the same expectations within their reading/writing courses as we do now. My hope for the future, is not to take away from what elementary, middle and high school teachers are instilling in their students, but to be able to come together and remind one another of what all their future college students will be facing in the years to come; I believe that will make better College writers.    


Researching Fish

Research Happens a Lot
What should a college writing course teach in the class room? Well to me personally I could not name anything right off the top of my head. But after intense research and hard work I have come up with what I know should be taught in class. That one thing out of the many would have to be research! With research being on the top priority of being needed to be taught there is things that research does to your papers. With the research involved you are able to verify your opinions, changing and shaping opinions, and being able to have the audience trust what you are writing.

I took place in observations in The Ohio State University Newark Writing Studio. In these observations I had to watch a student and a tutor go through papers that the student had been assigned from her English 1110.03 teacher. In these observations is where my opinions of research were justified. These observations were held for 8 weeks long. The students name was Samantha and the tutors name was Chelsea. Each week Samantha would bring in a paper that her teacher had said was due and Chelsea would normally read over it and help Samantha on whatever that is needed to be done.

Verifying your opinions in your paper with research is always good. With verifying your opinions that means that if what you thought was actually true then it is credible and is able to be believed. But to be credible you need to research for secondary sources that will back up what you feel is correct about your topic. Having info that is correct about your topic, the easier the paper will be able to write and the easier sentences will be able to come together. Even when the student in the observations had to look up secondary sources to back up what she thought was right. She even had said that when an opinion was correct she was happy that it was but with every one of the student’s opinions not all was correct.

With the research it can change your view on the topic. In the observation the tutor kept asking the question “why” at certain points in the student’s paper. With the asking of why in the paper that means that either you need to back it up with secondary sources or see if it was wrong actually. When finding something that is actually wrong meant that you would have to go in and correct it and sometimes that it could change a lot in your paper now that you see a different view on the topic. Even the tutor had said that when finding out that the information she thought was right is exciting because she is learning something new about the topic.
Finding information different from your opinion
can be good
In the end with both verifying and changing your opinion gives you the tools to be able to have enough sources to make the audience believe in what you are writing. Having the audience believe in what you say in a huge part because if they cannot trust what you say then what is the point of writing the paper. In research papers the looking up sources are huge because without those sources then the paper is just filled with unjust opinions. Having a trust worthy paper to me is a justifying feeling because there will be nobody in the end questioning anything I write.

Research in the end is one of the many things that is needed when it comes to a college paper. Research is the big one though because it will help form sentences and even Stanley Fish had said that classes should teach more on forming sentences. With all the help from research, it gives you all the tools to put in your paper and with the right tools that Fish says in his article you could form the perfect sentences needed.

The Big Catch!!!!

Professor Stanley Fish is a professor at Florida International University, in Miami. In his article he wrote for the NY times, “what college writing should teach us part 3”, he made sure to get across that he believes firmly that sentence structure plays the most important part in college writing. He states, “Basically, there is only one thing to be learned, that a sentence is a structure of logical relationships; everything else follows.”  I do agree somewhat with this strong statement, but he is leaving out the key fact that a college writer also needs a strong thesis. Doing this helps your paper produce your main claim with a road map that can be followed easily.

A thesis shouldn't  be confusing!!
I spent eight weeks in the Writers Studio at The Ohio State University. I observed a student and a tutor. My objective was to get a vivid understanding of what college writing should entail. During those observations I came to the conclusion that a thesis should be the most important in an essay. I came to this aspect, after the many times the student had trouble with the grasp of what a thesis was and how to create one. This in turn always had the professor making comments about his paper like it needs to be more specific, clearer, etc.  I believe strongly that college writing should always have a strong thesis, in order to catch that big fish at the end. It’s like the prize at the end of a fishing trip.

The BIG catch (thesis) is worth all the pain!! hang in there buddy!!
Your thesis must not only have a great sentence structure, the key is knowing the different aspects to follow to get that big catch. A thesis must be your main claim. It should directly answer the question the writer asks himself or herself when reading. Being able to acknowledge and reduce arguments will strengthen your claim, not weaken it. Your claim should also evolve and become sharper throughout the process of writing a great paper. A strong thesis must also provide the reader with a road map they can follow along easily.

During my time in the Writer’s Studio I will never forget what the PWC said about a thesis, he stated, “Your thesis should be a road map”. This makes it very clear the direction you want someone reading your paper to take without jumping overboard from being confused and not holding on to that big fish. If you write with the reader in mind you are more likely to communicate successfully. Thus, helping the reader understand the substance of the writing, without having to guess what the writer intended to mean. You have to lead the reader in the right path of your paper with a clear understanding so they don’t become confused and get less interested in reading.  You don’t want your reader to jump overboard, so lastly revise your thesis. Revising helps make your thesis stronger. Revision plays a key part in a successful paper because when writing your papers your ideas may change. That’s ok because when your ideas do change it makes you more aware of your thoughts and what direction you clearly wanted to go. Its okay to revise your thesis if it helps you make your paper clearer to your reader. This will make your thesis stronger and that big catch at the end of the day will be worth all the waiting. 

Professor Stanley Fish needs to go back fishing. He only caught a trout when he needs to go get that tuna. Yes, sentence structure is important when writing a college paper, but it’s not as important as a thesis. Your paper is basically focused around your thesis, being that it’s your main claim.  Without a strong claim with a clear road map you’re basically catching logs all day. I believe that English classes starting from middle school to college should focus more on teaching about thesis and how to develop one because that is indeed your big catch. That would ease the students mind and take the burden off their shoulders when they do start to write.  It would make writing a paper much easier by learning the different aspects of a thesis.  Knowing how to produce and write a thesis makes your paper ten times better than having good sentence structure. So, Mr. Fish as much as I do agree with your view point on what college writing should teach I must also disagree, because let’s face it a strong paper needs a stronger thesis.

Knowledge of a thesis makes things less trippy!!!!