SGarza.2-22QuestionAndResponseFromChelseaWhoOwnsWriting History

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In "Who Owns Writing?," Douglas Hesse discusses issues that are framed in certain ways, like an issue being framed as a "tax relief." He rightly asks who in their right mind would oppose a "relief." He writes, "I'm wondering if the word writing may frame our work in ways that aren't always desirable. The term seems neutral enough, but it may well carry the sense of inscribing words on paper; that is, it may focus attention on the physical at of graphemic production, '''separate from thinking''', with all focus on correctness... Now, in response we could reject the term ''writing'' and reframe our work as ''composing,'' as several... have recommended" (1253-1254).

I found a connection here to some of our other readings and to our lives as English majors.

For one, composing and writing are used interchangeably throughout the Tate and Miller texts. Did anyone ever think about the framing of an issue (in this case, writing or composing) that Hesse mentions? Does the term ''writing'' affect you differently from how the term ''composing'' does? Which do you prefer? Or does this even matter to you? Do you bring biases about these words to the table when your reading?

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I really like the conversation on these two pages and wanted to respond to my own question.

I don't think I ever consciously noticed the interchangeable use of ''writing'' and ''composing'' until I read Hesse's article "Who Owns Writing?" He really hit the nail on the head when he mentioned that the word writing implies that it (writing) tends to be thought of as ''separate from thinking.'' Personally that is the bias I tend to bring to the table when I read or hear the word writing. I think, okay, there is a formula for writing and a goal of making a good grade. Plug in what the teacher wants, and make the good grade happen. But composing... that word affects me much differently. I think of artists and musicians, and knowledge and creativity flowing from unknown and unseen places. Opportunities for true uniqueness arise from composing, from composition, or at least those words lead me to believe that. Now, this issue does matter to me. I think I will try to think about and use the word composing from here in out, for personal use and use in the classroom. I think the impact of changing the framing of the issue will be massive and worthy.

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