Monday, December 12, 2016

Fishing is Engaging

A student's response to a structure sentence course
A class about only sentence work, now that would be boring. In What should colleges teach?” Fish talks about, "I put a simple sentence on the table, something like “John hit the ball” or “Jane likes cake.” I spend an entire week on sentences like these". If your in a class and all you do is sentence work, it would be so tedious and boring. I bet half the students would skip the class. Although the idea of sentence work should definitely be present in an normal English class. I believe a student needs to be taught sentence work in high school, but a refresher should be applied every step of the way. This idea of a refresher should just be practiced in a more complex way each step of your English career. Fish has some good ideas, but I believe your everyday college level writing class should consist of a well-rounded curriculum on a copious amount of key ideas which relate to English. One of these topics that should probably be taught to students whom are writing college level writings, is the idea of engaging in your topic. Although this is probably not a huge idea in an college level English class it should be taught in a class and should be brought up all the time. Students who want to engage in their topic idea may look to choose a topic they have interest in, maybe take ownership of a topic, or retain feedback from their community on their topic. These are all ideas of engaging in your topic which ultimately may result in a higher grade. Why not use these ideas??? Don't you want to get a higher grade.
The man of the hour Stanley Fish

Although, I do agree with Fish that teaching sentence structure is important in writing college level, but I have come to find out that is not the only important skill college writing requires. Fish has some really great ideas on sentence structure such as "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.". This is an example of great sentence structure and another awesome point of starting with a understanding of the "game", which can be directly related to something that interests you. Then this idea plays a role on engagement.

The idea of engaging the writer is a much more important idea. When thinking about engaging it takes me back to an early reading with Graff Hidden Intellectualism. Here he motivates the writer to write about something that they were interested in. He says how the writer will be able to write more and actually enjoy research. Next a website I found explains perfectly with five ways to choose a topic, here at Aims Community College, they talk about how the topic should be something that interests you, something you have experience in, one that fits guidelines, will interest the reader, and one where outside sources were used. These are all great ways to engage in a topic. 

Even if a writer doesn't like a topic or idea they have to write about, they must learn to take ownership. If I was in Fish's class I would probably take ownership of my works, but the idea of ownership I found in a journal while doing research for my analytical research essay. The idea of calling the paper mine is actually good because you'll probably go deeper in research and you'll enjoy it more.

Bill Dance finds fishing engaging
Other ways for the writer to engage in their writing, is through the community. I have gotten an abundance of help every step of the way in my writing's in The Ohio State University at Newark Writer's Studio. There they gave me feedback to better my writing. Then I had my classmates look into my writing and tell me what was good in my writing and bad. Iv'e had my family see my writing's.

Fish may have had it right that sentence structure is a key skill in developing a college level writer, but there are so many other skills required. These skills are research, details, content, topic, thesis statement, etc. These are all very important skills, especially for a college level writer, but you can't write a paper without a topic. Fishing is engaging just make sure you are hooked on your topic.

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