In her essay “Taking TV’s “‘War of Words’” Too Literally,”1 Georgetown University linguist Deborah Tannen examines the rise of what she calls the “argument culture.” That argument is a significant part of American culture today is clear whenever we turn on the television set. Talking heads that populate the airwaves with ardent speakers can be found on various talk shows, especially cable’s quasi-news programs such as MSNBC’s Hardball or CNN’s Crossfire.
Many instructors of writing would perhaps argue about what freshmen college students lack the most these days in terms of developing a writing foundation that will enable them to manage the multitude of papers they will undoubtedly write throughout their college careers. Some might say “style and syntax,” while others would certainly say “the ability to hold a well-founded opinion.”
It seems Victor Vitanza asked a Magic 8-Ball to see if the world of college composition courses would merge enough with the virtual world to warrant a textbook to be written. Apparently, all signs pointed to yes, and so was born CyberReader.
Students are most likely to speak when they believe they will be heard, and they speak better when they have something worthwhile to say. The premise behind Literacies is that the same holds true for writing. Subtitled “Reading, Writing, Interpretation,” Literacies is essentially a reader with an edge—an agenda of exalting the status of student writers’ voices by encouraging them to read, think, and write critically and contextually. It is a textbook rich in resources yet simultaneously designed for flexibility, making it appropriate for a significant range of college classrooms.
In her article, “Multicultural Classrooms, Monocultural Teachers,” Terry Dean discusses the plight of both teacher and student in regards to multiculturalism and the often problematic classroom situations it entails. Dean’s primary claim is that “with increasing cultural diversity in classrooms, teachers need to structure learning experiences that both help students write their way into the […]
In the children’s story The Wizard of Oz Dorothy, the main character, exclaims as she’s walking through woods that scare her, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” When our composition students show up on the first day of classes they often feel like exclaiming a 21st century version of Dorothy’s lament. Looking like deer that have been caught […]