Retrospect

An important aspect of digital publication is content and voice because no one wants to read a boring post. Today, digital publication is all about getting people to read your articles. You need to have interesting content or things people would want to read about. You need to create original content.  Blogging can help you come up with new ideas or help improve your writing. It’s okay to have errors in your posts because you can always fix it. Blogging is useful because you can be yourself (be anonymous if you want). In terms of CTW, I feel that blogs can often times fit into this category. I’ve read blogs that provoked people to think and challenges others. Blogging can be about anything. It can be about food, academics, entertainment, you name it. Blogging is like writing mini essays. You can put as much thought into it as much as you want, or less. In terms of my own writing, I’ve been blogging for awhile, but I tend to focus more on creative writing or posts stemmed from personal thoughts and experiences. It has influenced my writing interests. I’m not very good at writing, but blogs helps me practice and makes me feel like I can write something worthwhile.

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Shipka

“Our students have a much richer imagination for what we might accomplish with the visual than our journals have yet to address” (278)

I agree with this statement because some people have different ways that they express themselves. Some people work better visually, others orally, etc. I feel that it’s a good thing to have; these multimodal modes of learning. Shipka says that “this multimodal task-based framework refuses to provide students with prepared goals, students learn by doing” (291). I do believe that students learn by doing. But I feel that if there’s no prepared goals, it’ll be hard for some students (like me) who have grown accustomed to instructors telling them exactly what they need to do, this way of working can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when the students discover potentials for enriching their work that may require them to set aside the work they have already begun and return to an earlier stage in the production process” (291). As I was reading this article, I was amazed at what some of the students came up with for their assignments. But for me, I feel that I would suffer from the multimodal mode because I like to have some rules to my assignments. I don’t think I’m creative enough to come up with alternate ways to do an assignment unless I got some instructions for it. But it’s a good thing to use in a classroom because I feel that students would be able to learn more.

Embracing Universal Design

I really liked reading about what universal design is, although I was a bit lost when I was first reading it. This article brings up some very good points while I was reading it. I found myself supporting this article, with all the examples and pictures.

At the most basic level, Web accessibility is a civil rights issues (2)

I found this quote to be very interesting. I’ve actually never had to think about whether I had access to the Web before. It was always there when I needed it. I’ve never thought about how some people might not be able to access the Web. It’s a strange concept to me. I guess I take it for granted. In the article, that Web accessibility is necessary for Universal Design because “when you build … your Web site, you can help bring your work to its full potential by making sure that your class materials are accessible. You help people blend in, you don’t unintentionally keep people out, and you may spark students’ brains by offering them an unexpected perspective” (2).

In the article, there is an example about people living on an island who are bi-lingual, with one of the languages as sign-language. I really liked this example because it gave me a new perspective. We are so focused on one part of writing that we don’t realize that there are other ways that we write. To quote the article: “Physically writing or word-processing text is only one way to accomplish the generation and manipulation of ideas that writing involves. To design writing pedagogies informed by principles of universal design, we need to think of writing not only as product and process, but as a broad set of invention activities” (1).

I would like to think that we can design writing pedagogies that uses the principles of universal design. At the speed technology is advancing, with the speech-to-text and other inventions, we could come up with many different ways to write with technology as well as with other non-tech methods: sketching, movement, visualization, etc. I think this could be related to Harris’s “Process” chapter because it discusses the processes that people use to write, whether it’s traditional or nontraditional methods.

Error Revised

Okay, I take back what I said about Mina Shaughnessy. It seems Harris did not give us the full scope about her. It was good to see her thoughts through her viewpoint and not through other people. Other people can never really give us the full story because they can be biased with or without meaning too. I really agree with her that learning grammar is important. Practice makes perfect after all. It’s a basic foundation skill that allows for students to convey their thoughts more clearly. At least that’s how I feel. Before you can focus on content, it should be best to learn how to write your thoughts clearly. Shaughnessy gave us an example about how one writer is scared of errors and that causes their sentences is “hopelessly tangled” (391).

I can slightly relate to that fear because I have this habit of writing, sentence by sentence, always checking to make sure I don’t have any errors by reading it out loud. Is this sentence grammatically correct? haha To be honest, sometimes I don’t even know when to use punctuation, such as when to use a semicolon vs colon vs comma. Does that make me less of a writer? I think that you can have something amazing to say, but if people can’t read your writing, it doesn’t really matter. I think the important thing is to get your thoughts across and then go back and fix the errors.

But for the BW, learning grammar makes sense because they might be afraid to write or they don’t know how to get their thoughts across. It all just depends on how much experience you have with writing. I think it’s up to teachers to determine when they should stop learning grammar.

To Error or Not To Error: That is the Question

learn from your mistakes

At the beginning of this chapter about error, Harris talks about Mina Shaughnessy who believed that if students learned the basics of writing (grammar, punctuation, etc), then they would be able to write by learning from their mistakes. She says, “BW students write the way they do, not because they are slow … or incapable of academic excellence, but because they are beginners and must … learn by making mistakes” (104). I agree with her that we learn by making mistakes. I feel people who are learning how to write should first learn the basic rules of writing first and then branch off from there.

However, in her book Shaughnessy only stresses about the importance of basics. She never once goes into details about how students can write based on their experiences and thoughts. Instead, she focuses on getting the students to write correctly. I disagree with this because I believe that writing is a form of expression (our voice). An essay can be grammatically correct, but if there’s no thought in it, what’s the point in writing? Writing isn’t just about spelling the words right or forming a perfect sentence. There can’t be a writing process if all we care about is the grammar. There needs to be meaning behind your words. That’s how I see it.

I think my favorite quote would have to be this:

“While teachers frequently correct student language on the basis of such misguided  conceptions, saying something correctly and saying it well, are two entirely different Thangs” (110)

It perfectly sums up my view about “error” with some humor at the end. it made me laugh so it’s funny I would have to say that I agree with Shaughnessy that the basics is necessary, but it’s not the only thing to it. Revision and articulating your thoughts and experiences are important too. We all have a voice. Let’s use it to say something well. or not.

Literate Activity…

Rather, literate activity is about nothing less than ways of being in the world, forms of life. It is about histories … about the (re)formation of persons and social worlds, about affect and emotion, will and attention. It is about representational practices, complex, multifarious chains of transformations in and across representational states and media (cf. Hutchins, 1995). It is especially about the ways we not only come to inhabit made-worlds, but constantly make our worlds—the ways we select from, (re)structure, fiddle with, and transform the material and social worlds we inhabit.

I found this reading to be very interesting. The study that they did was really different compared to the other readings we’ve read. Having the participants draw their process in two ways was a really cool way to collect data. I would never associate drawing with the writing process. But I liked how the participants illustrated their writing process in symbols and diagrams. It helped us see how they saw their writing process. At the same time, it’s seems a bit weird to me.

I picked the quote above because I really liked the definition of literate activity. I feel that it’s something that some people seem to forget. The things we do revolves in so many aspects of our lives. Sometimes, I forget that I’m not writing things by myself. Occasionally, I find myself turning to other sources (people, books, experiences) to help with my writing process.

My favorite participant was Megan Neumann. I liked her twist on her assignment and her confidence of turning her word search writing in even though her classmates told her not to. It was a clever think outside-the-box. I thought it was a shame that the teacher told her to rewrite it. I mean it really wasn’t what the assignment was about, but it was such a creative idea. I think this was what stuck out the most to me. I liked how this study gave us some examples of what the study was trying to prove.

revise, revise, until its good enough

“The extensive mode … focuses upon the writer’s conveying a message or communication to another …. the style is assured, impersonal, and often reportorial.” In contrast, reflexive composing”… focuses on the writer’s thoughts and feelings. …. the style is tentative, personal, and exploratory.”‘ (159)

While revision is necessary when you are writing, I feel that it’s not the most important thing in writing. It just depends on the revision. Sometimes it’s changing words around, other times its making changes to the ideas itself. I usually don’t think about my revisions when I do them. I just do them. But i guess this reading has opened my eyes to see how the process of revision makes a difference.

I think thinking out loud makes it easier for me. It is easier for me to write with reflexive composing than extensive mode. I like to write based on my thoughts and feelings. i like writing fiction and personal stories. I can be free to choose how I write and in what style. I feel that it’s less restrictive. I enjoy writing them more than research essays. In reflexive composing, the revisions I make are different than when I write in extensive mode. I tend to focus more on words and sentence flow in reflexive and precise wording and ideas in extensive.

For me revision is something that I do to make my writing better or to make it sound better. I like to go back in my writing and change up the words or fix the style of writing or the structure. I have a habit of revising for so long that I end up with something completely different from the first draft. It would be interesting if I could document what revisions I made and to see how I end up with the final draft. Maybe I’ll study myself for the writing process research thing… 

when you’re almost done with your writing, but you have to fix it