SGarza.QuestionFromWendyReBarth History

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Hi Wendy and Matt. While reading Bartholomae I was able to put my own personal writing into perspective. He made several points that I think we all can draw from as researchers and as teachers. One problem that I have encountered in the writing center and as a student is approximating the discourse. Bartholomae states that of the common assumptions of both composition research and composition teaching is that at some stage in the process of composing an essay, a ideas or his motives must be tailored to the needs and expectations of his audience...they have to anticipate and acknowledge the assumptions and (609). I think that it is difficult for a research/writer to use a common place within their controlling ideas when a teacher tries to transform a ideas into their own. It creates a muddy language. A language that is clouded with voice, but is necessary in order to perform in a academic voice. I think what Bartholomae is trying to say is that academic writing is muddy because it is meshed in with other voices (experts). better to be connected to the conversation and be awkward with the writing than not knowing the conversation. Yet when students are assigned to a topic they are usually unfamiliar with the conversation and attempt to mimic other researchers. Bartholomae states that students assumes privilage by locating themselves within a discourse of a particular community-within a set of specifically acceptable gestures and commonplaces-learning, at least as it is defined in liberal arts curriculm, becomes more a matter of imitation or parody than a matter of invention and (612). However through leaning the discourse students are able to be create a voice. Batholmae agrues that invent languge they are themselves invented in (614). I perfer to look at the muddy analogy as joining a discourse; learning a second language that will eventually connect to your common place, your first language.

My question is, how to we perserve the controlling idea for students in a discourse that excludes their common place? We all learn through our associations. We connect our prvious knowledge to new knowledge. How can we as teachers promote indivuality in a acdemic world that demands a replica of themselves?
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Hi Wendy and Matt. While reading Bartholomae I was able to put my own personal writing into perspective. He made several points that I think we all can draw from as researchers and as teachers. One problem that I have encountered in the writing center and as a student is approximating the discourse. Bartholomae states that of the common assumptions of both composition research and composition teaching is that at some stage in the process of composing an essay, a ideas or his motives must be tailored to the needs and expectations of his audience...they have to anticipate and acknowledge the assumptions and (609). I think that it is difficult for a research/writer to use a common place within their controlling ideas when a teacher tries to transform a ideas into their own. It creates a muddy language. A language that is clouded with voice, but is necessary in order to perform in a academic voice. I think what Bartholomae is trying to say is that academic writing is muddy because it is meshed in with other voices (experts). better to be connected to the conversation and be awkward with the writing than not knowing the conversation. Yet when students are assigned to a topic they are usually unfamiliar with the conversation and attempt to mimic other researchers. Bartholomae states that students assumes privilege by locating themselves within a discourse of a particular community-within a set of specifically acceptable gestures and commonplaces-learning, at least as it is defined in liberal arts curriculum, becomes more a matter of imitation or parody than a matter of invention and (612). However through leaning the discourse students are able to be create a voice. Batholmae argues that invent language they are themselves invented in (614). I prefer to look at the muddy analogy as joining a discourse; learning a second language that will eventually connect to your common place, your first language.

My question is, how do we preserve the controlling idea for students in a discourse that excludes their common place? We all learn through our associations. We connect our previous knowledge to new knowledge.
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'''From Melissa R.'''

Hi Wendy and Matt. While reading Bartholomae I was able to put my own personal writing into perspective. He made several points that I think we all can draw from as researchers and as teachers. One problem that I have encountered in the writing center and as a student is approximating the discourse. Bartholomae states that of the common assumptions of both composition research and composition teaching is that at some stage in the process of composing an essay, a ideas or his motives must be tailored to the needs and expectations of his audience...they have to anticipate and acknowledge the assumptions and (609). I think that it is difficult for a research/writer to use a common place within their controlling ideas when a teacher tries to transform a ideas into their own. It creates a muddy language. A language that is clouded with voice, but is necessary in order to perform in a academic voice. I think what Bartholomae is trying to say is that academic writing is muddy because it is meshed in with other voices (experts). better to be connected to the conversation and be awkward with the writing than not knowing the conversation. Yet when students are assigned to a topic they are usually unfamiliar with the conversation and attempt to mimic other researchers. Bartholomae states that students assumes privilage by locating themselves within a discourse of a particular community-within a set of specifically acceptable gestures and commonplaces-learning, at least as it is defined in liberal arts curriculm, becomes more a matter of imitation or parody than a matter of invention and (612). However through leaning the discourse students are able to be create a voice. Batholmae agrues that invent languge they are themselves invented in (614). I perfer to look at the muddy analogy as joining a discourse; learning a second language that will eventually connect to your common place, your first language.

My question is, how to we perserve the controlling idea for students in a discourse that excludes their common place? We all learn through our associations. We connect our prvious knowledge to new knowledge. How can we as teachers promote indivuality in a acdemic world that demands a replica of themselves?
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The Bartholomae chapter was the most difficult chapter for me in this week's readings. It seemed to me that he went a long way out of his way to make a small point which leads me to believe I missed something significant. One of the things that troubled me was a statement he made toward the end of the chapter where he says one of the student writers will "have to be convinced that it is better to write muddier and more confusing prose (in order that it may sound like us)" (627). Why is it still considered necessary for academic writing to be 'muddy' and 'confusing'?
to:
The Bartholomae chapter was the most difficult chapter for me in this week's readings. It seemed to me that he went a long way out of his way to make a small point which leads me to believe I missed something significant. One of the things that troubled me was a statement he made toward the end of the chapter where he says one of the student writers will "have to be convinced that it is better to write muddier and more confusing prose (in order that it may sound like us)" (627). Why is it still considered necessary for academic writing to be 'muddy' and 'confusing'?



''Response from Matt''

The cynic in me blames the writing of academia on limiting access to information. The muddy language is like a bouncer at the door keeping those unworthy of the knowledge within from entering. This leads me to ask why legal students and medical students abandoned the multitude of Latin terms in their fields? The language is but does it persist out of tradition or something more sinister? Is the use of complicated language simply a mean of preventing weak-minded or undetermined students from succeeding?

Like I said, those are the thoughts of my inner cynic. The optimist in me still believes in the egalitarian goals of education at all levels. Which brings me back to your original question about why is language permitted? I credit this to two factors: a desire to uphold standards and a desire to build upon what has come before. So much of academic writing is based on canonical work, which has set the standards by which we judge contemporary efforts. But human nature also compels us to strive for improvement, which can lead to cloudy language when the writer lacks understanding of the canonical text upon which they wish to expand upon. Or people just do it to make themselves feel big.
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The Bartholomae chapter was the most difficult chapter for me in this week's readings. It seemed to me that he went a long way out of his way to make a small point which leads me to believe I missed something significant. One of the things that troubled me was a statement he made toward the end of the chapter where he says one of the student writers will "have to be convinced that it is better to write muddier and more confusing prose (in order that it may sound like us)" (627). Why is it still considered necessary for academic writing to be 'muddy' and 'confusing'?