Thursday, April 30, 2015

Source Stresser

Students don't look amused spending lots of time searching for sources.
In Stanley Fish’s article “ What Should College’s Teach? Part 3”Fish, "What Should Colleges Teach, Part 3" ,  he explains to us what he think is most important to teach in the college classroom. He goes on a rant about how students come into college unable to write clean English sentences. Fish blames the students previous teachers from  their middle & high school. He believes that their teachers weren’t doing their job as teaching the students to write in an effective way.  Fish says that “ a failure of secondary education from the students previous teachers , relieves college teachers of an responsibility to make up deficit”. College professors are teaching students material that they should’ve learned from their teachers in middle & high school.

Fish believes that the main thing college courses should teach, is  how to put together good structured sentences.  He says that this should be the most important thing that college students should know how to do within their first year of college. Yes, Fish you made an excellent point but I believe that, that’s not the most important thing college classroom’s should teach. I believe that it’s very easy to teach students how to write good sentences. That shouldn’t be the main topic that teachers should focus on.  For 6 weeks, I observed a first year college student while he got tutored for his English class. Due to my observations in the (The Writer's Studio) OSU Newark Writing studio, I’ve came to the conclusion that first year English courses should focus on helping students get in the habit of finding good sources that are reliable. It seem as if it’s a reoccurring problem that college professors often notice but don’t teach students enough about it. .  Most first year students have a hard time searching for sources. It’s a struggle because it’s very time consuming & can cause students to become very frustrated, especially if you have no idea where to search or what it is that you’re looking for.

 Before coming into college, most students aren’t used to searching for sources. It’s new to them. When they are told to do the task of searching for reliable sources, they end up wasting lots of time trying to find sources when it shouldn’t take them long to do at all. To my understandings, students will always  have a hard time getting the hang of trying to research sources that they are able to use if college teachers don’t take their time to teach it to them.

In the Writer’s Studio, students only have about 55 minutes to work with their tutors. That’s not enough time to search for sources when you have other things to work on for your essay’s.  I believe that college classes should give students more time during their classes to focus on finding good sources. Instead of watching students waste their time stressing over sources that won’t do them any good, teachers should find time to help them get the job done in an easier way.  They should teach students the most effective & quickest way to find reliable sources.  I also believe that college teachers should maybe point out an exact website or two to students that they know students would be able to grab a few reliable sources from for their topic of their essay. That’ll help them out a lot if the student know where to find what they’re looking for instead of spending lots of wasted time. No one likes to go through lots & lots of sites before finding the perfect ones that they can use.

 In order to find good sources you do have to go through & analyze multiple sources. Good reliable sources provides information that is related to the topic of your paper. They help to backup your specific claim or claims. You should always have more than one source to lean on. As said by Harvard Guide to Using Sources “ Try to generate more leads than you technically need. That way you can have alternatives & can make good choices from them” For current & future college classes, I recommend that teaching students how to search for & how to use sources should be taught right away. Teaching the students how to search for sources as soon as they enter the college classroom will not only be helpful for the students but for teachers as well.
Searching for information to use

Reel Me In The Details

For my last Assignment in my English 1109 class I was told to read an article written by Stanley Fish called “What Should Colleges Teach? Part 3”. In this article Stanley argues that middle school and high school English teachers are failing at preparing their students for college level writing. Fish states "I cannot see, however, why a failure of secondary education relieves college teachers of a responsibility to make up the deficit." Fish is saying that why should college English professors have to deal with the consequences of the mistakes of middle and high school English teachers. I in the other hand don’t believe that our secondary teachers should get the blame for freshmen college students not knowing the basic skills of writing. I think that every student is different, and what I mean about this is that some students could have not paid attention in their English class therefore could have not learn the basic writing skills properly. In my opinion it just depends on the type of student you are and how much you are willing to learn from your class.
Stanley Fish
Fish also tries to argue that an important skill that high school teachers fail to teach and that should be taught in college is sentence structure. Even though I do agree with fish that sentence structure is an important skill to know for college level writing, I also think that detailing is also very important.
Details are important in writing a college essay
In my first year on college at, Ohio State University at Newark, I took an English course that required me to observe an hour tutoring sessions at the Writer’s Studio. The tutoring session that I observed was between Chelsea (the Peer Writing Consultant) and Madeleine (the Student Writer). The purpose for this assignment was to find out “ What does a college level writer do?” and all the information of five weeks of observing had made me realized that most of the time Chelsea would be helping Madeleine add more detail into her research paper.

In my opinion, I feel that details are important in writing an essay because they bring clarity to a reader. Adding details to an essay helps the reader see from your point of view. Your readers will be able to understand your topic by adding details like statistics of definitions, so that the argument is in words they can understand as well. Details can really help the reader better understand the claim that you are trying to argue.
Details can really help the reader better understand the claim 
In my first week of observing the tutoring session, Madeleine was having trouble describing a picture she had found on the Internet discussing about healthy food products. After reading it together Chelsea told her that she needed to be more descriptive and that she should make a list of every little thing that was drawing her eye about the picture and when she was done to added to her paper. This made me realized that by adding descriptive details it made the whole picture come to life without looking at the picture. 

You may also use details to help back up your claim. Supporting details guide the readers to the main idea and it also shows that credibility in your writing. On the fourth week of observing the tutoring sessions Madeleine’s professor that just suggested her to put more evidence to support her main idea. That entire day Chelsea was helping Madeleine search for evidence to support her main idea.

I believe Stanley Fish when he tries to argue that sentence structure is an important skill that should be taught in schools in his article “What Should Colleges Teach? Part 3”, but I also feel that it is important to learn about details in writing a college paper. The amount of detail you contribute to your paper will make a big difference on how it looks and how the readers will get to visualize it and understand your main idea. This is only my opinion on what I think is important in college level writing and it’s probably not the only skill that should be taught in a classroom. Either way I hope to find out of more English writing skills through out my college years.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

You Can't Have Every Fish In The Sea As An Audience (Lame Puns)

Stanley Fish
A question brought up by english teachers and the academic community in general is; “What is college-level writing and how do I incorporate it in my class?” Stanley Fish, a Distinguished professor of Law at Cardozo Law School in New York City, tried answering this in a New York Times article, “What Should Colleges Teach, Part 3.” Fish made many good claims in his paper for example; “You have to start with a simple but deep understanding of the game, which for my purposes is the game of writing sentences. So it makes sense to begin with the question, What is a sentence anyway? My answer has two parts: (1) A sentence is an organization of items in the world. (2) A sentence is a structure of logical relationships.”

Fish believes that the first thing a student should master is sentence structure, he states that students usually don’t learn this before and that its, “College teachers … responsibility to make up the deficit.”

I completely agree with Fish’s statement about the importance of sentence structure, but I, through my own experiences and observations, have come to believe that another important aspect of writing is the importance of a writer knowing who they are targeting or who they are trying to influence, in other words; their audience.

I’ve witnessed the importance of audience while observing tutoring sessions, for eight weeks, at The Ohio State University at Newark Writer’s Studio. My objective was to answer the age old question, “What is college-level writing?”  When considering an audience, a writer must bring into account; the audience’s gender, age, level of education, Religion, culture, social class, etc. Without a proper audience, a writer may stray from the topic they are writing about, which results in a lot of confusion for both the reader and writer.

A writer must know their audience

The Writing Studio at the University of Maryland University College states that knowing your, “Audience helps you to make decisions about what information you should include, how you should arrange that information, and what kind of supporting details will be necessary for the reader to understand what you are presenting.” They go on to explain that, “It also influences the tone and structure of the document. To develop and present an effective argument, you need to be able to appeal to and address your audience.” With an audience a writer can narrow their thesis from a broad point of view to a narrower one. With to broad an audience a writer might have to explain a lot of jargon associated with his topic, but if they narrow their audience, which in turn focuses the thesis, they can skip all the unneeded explanations and get straight to their claim, and not worry about straying from the topic with a long off topic explanation.

Audience and sentence structure are both very important in writing.
The legitimacy of Stanley Fish’s claim; that the best way to teach a college class room is by teaching sentence structure, is completely based on the person who’s reading that claim’s opinion and their experiences. I believe that audience plays a much bigger role in college writing, in spite of the fact that, sentence structure plays a big role, in its own right.

Darcy Pattison, an American writer of fiction and nonfiction children’s literature, states “One of the easiest ways to signal tone and, as a result, audience is to control your sentence structure.”Audience and sentence structure are in some cases closely correlated; Audience determines how a sentence should be structured and sentence structure determines the tone and audience of a paper, one can not exist without the other. In the end, audience and sentence structure is just a small part of what college-level writing truly is, there are many other aspects which are just as important, like thesis statements, details, and quote integration, but if both are mastered and done well, it can help a beginning college-level writer blossom into a great writer.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sentence Structure VS. Quote Sandwich

Photo of Stanley Fish 
Stanley Fish argues in his article, "what should colleges teach part 3", that students do not receive the proper education prior to college. He also states that one of the most important things a high school teacher should teach their students is proper sentence structure. While Stanley argues a valid point, I feel that quote integration with the use of the "quote sandwich" method is also very important. With out it your quote might seem improperly placed or random, Which is often referred to as Hit and run quotingHit and run quoting is when quotes are seemingly thrown into a paragraph with out anything such as an introduction, or an explanation as to why the quote is relevant to your argument

In my first year English class at Ohio State University Newark (OSUN), I have observed many students in their tutoring sessions at the Writer's Studio, in an attempt to answer the question, "What makes a college level writing college level?". Throughout these observations I noticed that quote integration can help a student immensely in supporting arguments, and or points throughout their paper. Quotes do this by adding the view of a professional, or experienced individual to your supporting paragraphs.
Photo from source

The relevance and placement of a quote is important, they need to be positioned in the paragraph in places where they will support your writing, and also give it a well-blended sense of harmony. During an interview with a PWC, I asked whether adding a quote at the beginning or end of a paragraph is acceptable. She stated, “Sometimes it can cause a memorable affect, but the majority of the time it doesn’t work.” what she implied is that these positions do not provide the quote with both an introduction, and explanation as to why it is included.

With out a proper introduction to a quote,it will seem as if it stands alone. One particular student I observed was having trouble figuring out how to bring quotes into his essay to support his topic. The peer writing consultant, (PWC) asked him how many sources he had to work with. The student answered that he had six sources, all articles. The PWC then helped the student identify some of his pre-selected quotes from these sources, that she felt they could easily introduce alongside of the main idea of the paragraph. The two then discussed various aspects and rules of what to do, and what not to do when introducing a quote, such as using an introductory phrase, as appose to telling the reader that you have a quote and your about to state it.

The student and the PWC had selected and introduced a relevant quote that he could use to effectively back-up his point of view. Now he was having trouble figuring out how to explain the relation between the quote and his essay. The PWC then recommended that they re-read his paragraph, and the paragraph from the original source to find out why he chose it, and to see if they could figure out an explanation of the relevance of the quote in relation to his argument. After they reread and discussed some things, they came up with a way to explain the relevance of the quote, and what the student had understood from it effectively "sandwiching" the students quote.

Through my observations, and with the help of Ohio State Newark’s Peer Writing Consultants, I have been able to gather enough information to effectively write on the topic of quote integration. While proper sentence structure is a staple of quality college level writing that is overlooked by many pre-college instructors, I feel that adding evidence to our papers in order to support our arguments with the usage of properly placed, introduced, and explained quotes from professionals, is yet another staple of college level writing.I believe that this is equally overlooked by instructors prior to college along with sentence structure and grammar. With the help of these two tools, I believe that students will have a good start to being able to write with quality and authority throughout their college career.

Limiting the Extra Fish

In the New York times, Stanley Fish writes an article "What Should Colleges Teach?" He claims that Middle school and High School Teachers do not teach the basics of writing. He believes that first year college students are not ready for college level writing because of the lack basic writing teachings. From his experiences he believes sentence structure is important to be taught in the class room. Such as in "What Should Colleges Teach?" he says, "1. A sentence is an organization of items in the world. 2. A sentence is a structure of logical relationships." Fish makes a valid point on how many teachers do not teach the basics of writing. Even myself, still struggle with sentence structure and the way they should flow together.

As you can see fish makes a valid point on how sentence structures are a struggle for first year students, even myself. I have to agree with him that college professors should teach sentence structures the first year. I also have an idea of an important idea that can be taught along the side if that and that is "limitation." I got this idea by observing tutoring sessions I was assigned to at The Ohio State University of Newark Writer's Studio. Limitation can work with just about anything, such as a primary source, research and during the process of writing an outline.

One way limitation is important to teaching in college is limiting a primary source. When limiting your primary source you can start off by writing down questions and then answering those questions can lead you to valuable information you may need to start your paper off. A primary source can be a photo, article or even your own research. For instance while I was in the Writer's studio I was observing a session where a student was asking questions on her primary source, which was a photo. The PWC asked a questions, "What is repeating in the photo?" the student answered "There is black and white throughout the photo." There was a description she needed for part of her paper. The student continued writing down questions about the photo and got all her information she needed.

A second way limitation is important to teaching in college is limiting in research. You can limit your search through databases your school may have. It benefit less time spent researching for sources you need. Also when limiting your search you can search for specific things as Northeast Community College explains under their Library Resources, "Many databases allow you to limit your search to a specific type of article (peer-reviewed or referred for example), articles published within a certain time frame, articles with images or graphics, or articles from a particular journal." By using databases such as ebscohost there are advance searches you can use to limit your search as they explain from the Northeast Community College. You are able to get reliable sources from their. It can be helpful for a secondary source you might need.

Third way limitation is important to teaching in college is limiting in your outline. An outline is not just a structure, you can look at it as a tool for limiting in each part of your rough draft. An outline makes it easier to look at each paragraph individually rather than all together. Another thing it helps gives you a limit to ideas to be put into your paper. Being able to use this technique or thinking as an outline as a limiting source, it can make it easier to write your paper as a whole. Last an outline can make things more benefical for yourself when you go to add detail to your ideas, you will know what specific things you are looking for while writing your paper.

Stanley Fish, a guy who believes sentence structure should be taught properly in the classroom according to his article "What Should Colleges Teach?" Again, I agree that it should be, but I do also think "limitation" should be taught in the classroom. Along the lines of limitation I believe it should be taught with a primary source, research and in an outline. I think by using limitation in writing in college can help improve more students in getting more of their information easier and evaluating things better.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What do you mean, Fish?!

Stanley Fish
In the New York Times article "What Colleges Should Teach, Part 3," Stanley Fish, the author, states that high school and middle school teachers are not teaching effectively when it comes to writing. So when students go to college, they don't even know how to write a clean English sentence. Therefore, Fish's solution is for students to have a simple but deep understanding of the game, which for his purposes are the game of writing sentence structure. Being able to understand how to write a proper sentence is essential when it comes to college-level writing, however, I believe that grasping the game of sentence structure isn't the only "game" you should understand; clarifying is just as important.

College professors should educate college students about how to clarify different ways to your audience. The reader’s viewpoint and the writer’s are different. Our audience can’t see what we are thinking because it’s our responsibility as writers to show them using details and expressing our thoughts throughout the paper; Explaining to them why they are reading this and what would they get out of this.

This year in English 1109 at Ohio State University of Newark, my professor, Derek Boczkowski instructed us students to observe tutor sessions at the Writing's Studio, where college students get assistance in their final essays. We observed them to answer the question, "What is Important in College-Level Writing?" One thing I've noticed in these observations is that writing the "proper" sentence in their essays' was barely an issue, however, the tutors or the student's professors' asked this question repetitively, "What do you mean by that?"
She's confused
For example, one of the students I was observing was including quotes into his essay. He didn't explain, where the quotes came from, why it was included, and what the quotes meant in his own words. The effect of this was that his tutor left him with questions that he had to answer verbally; His professor wanted those answers written on his paper instead. Chapter 3 of "They Say, I say" by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein informs the reader to not leave their quotes with no clarification to your reader. "... you also need to present them in a way that makes their relevance and meaning clear to your readers." (Here is the link to They Say, I say's blogQuotes don't speak for themselves, the writer needs to speak for them. So if a writer doesn't explain their quotes that leaves your reader with questions like "Why is this in here?" "How does this help his/her paper?" "What is this?" As a reader, I'm sure that I wouldn't have understood Fish's article if he didn't explain the quotes he used.

Explaining quotes isn't the only way professors expect from students to clarify in your paper; they also wants you to use details so they can see where you are coming from. A question that I have asked when I was observing a student was, "What do you find important when you were writing in your final essay?" And she replied, "Explaining your paper to your professor so they can understand cause the only problem she found in my paper was that I didn't give her enough details on what I was seeing in my paper?"Her professor gave her feedback on her final essay on what she should add and one of those things were, details; Her professor didn't explain how or what kind of details she can use? Professors should show students different ways to use details on their paper so, they themselves won't be confused on where their students are coming from.

Where I'm going at is that some students can be confused on what their reader wants sometimes and their professors are also their readers so they should assist students on different ways they can answer their audience's questions. I also do believe that writing structure would help college students immensely in their writing but, teaching students different ways to clarify is just as equal or maybe even more helpful. I'm sure there are other important aspects in college-level writing that professors should consider educating students in their classrooms, however, please take this to consideration professors!

Can Fish Complain About English When They Don't Speak It?

Fish's lecture face

In the New York Times article, titled "What ShouldColleges Teach? Part 3," the author Stanley Fish discusses what is of importance in teaching levels in college level writing. A couple main points talked about were how sentence structure and grammar need to be taught more thoroughly. He also claims language can be an "instrument of power.” When learning the language of writing you must be equipped with the tools to speak in the present condition needed at the time. Everyone has the right to his or her own language on any given topic however; we need to be taught which language is most appropriate in given situations. When allowing students to write in their own personal language can be devastating to their college career because they will not know how to write in an educated manor or a scholarly manor. What college professor would want to read something that sounds very ill educated.
I agree but disagree with Fish’s claim. I agree the students should learn their way with the language and grammar then manipulating it for the particular subject it is needed. Language is beautiful thing it is what connects us with every single person around us. Language is required in every single part of schooling whether it be math, English, or even music  they all have some kind of form of communication in common. When trying to communicate in a scholarly manor there are many things you do not want to happen.
Over the course of an eight-week period, I witnessed five tutoring sessions at The Ohio State Newark Writer’s Studio. I found that with watching these sessions I have many ideas to support Fish’s main clause. I feel it is important people learn how to communicate in an educational manor however, I disagree with the fact that it is not just that simple we need to try to understand what people take away from our writing. Many people try to communicate many things through writing. Although as I said they try, does not always mean they successfully do so.  Many people can get the wrong idea when ideas are not explained thoroughly and clearly.
In the midst of those eight weeks we were asked the question repeatedly what we feel is most to college level writing, which is similar to what Fish is talking about but not exactly. I discovered that language was the most important thing to college level writing however it was not language exactly it was what people could take away from the language itself. So I agree with Fish’s statement that people need to learn to write the language but also we need to be able to step on the other side in the readers shoes and think what are people going to take away from the piece of writing being written.
Have you ever read something on Facebook or Twitter and someone misspells every word and sounds very unintelligent or “stupid”? This is your perspective of person and we acquire them quite quickly without even knowing people. People can get a perspective of you as a writer and with the example I just mentioned early maybe incompetent? When someone reads your paper you do not want them thinking you are lazy because you did not what to correct misspelled words and ill grammar. It is all about creating a perspective for you through the reader’s eyes.
Overall, I agree to disagree. Fish is right students need to learn sentence structure and grammar. At the same time we should teach students to figure out what you want people to take away from the particular piece of writing being written. With all these tools in mind, I feel students will be very prepared for writing in college. If all these factors were taught could you imagine what college essay would look like if students actually knew how to use all the tools needed to make a well written essay.