Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ofishal Writing

Mr. Stanley Fish, who is an experienced and well known professor who taught at Florida International University in Miami, wrote an article called "What Should Colleges Teach, Part 3"? In this article he expresses that students are coming into college level writing courses not having learned much in high school or previous years. According to Fish, the most important aspect of successful college writing is having a good sense of sentence structures. Mr. Fish says if he taught an English class this is the main thing he would focus on and states, "Basically there is only one thing to be learned, that a sentence is a structure of logical relationships; everything else follows."
I bet you had to get a few of these to get into college.

I absolutely agree with Fish that we should be learning how to write logical sentences. I also think that by the time you are in college, somewhere along the way you've had to put together a logical sentence for an assignment and had to get a good grade on it. Teachers might not have been teaching writing very well like Fish said, but they were definitely teaching it in some way, shape or form and it got you into college didn't it? This is why I think learning how to write sentences is not the most important thing in the world to teach.
"See this Billy? Now this is what I'm expecting."

With that being said, what I feel is just as important as putting together a logical sentence is knowing what the professor expects out of you for each assignment. You can find this out by looking at examples of finished papers from previous students and simply reading the assignment prompt or asking the teacher themselves face to face.

Knowing what the professor expects might not be teaching writing hands on, but searching to find out what they expect can lead to an endless amount of helpful information. For instance, this very paper I am writing right now was assigned to me in my English class at The Ohio State University at Newark. To know where to start I came to this website and viewed some of the scores of example entries posted by other students about this same topic. Looking at these examples gave me an idea of how to set up my paper and how to properly insert information into my introduction and conclusion. Although I did not copy the information, I used it to look off of and to help organize my plan.
Logical sentences being born.

So what's a bunch of logical sentences on a piece of paper if you don't know what the professor is expecting out of you? Maybe you didn't need as many of those logical sentences as you thought you did. Maybe you just wrote a long paper for no reason and now you look like this. My point being before you start any writing assignment, know the task at hand and what is being expected out of you first.

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