Notes for Jan 18

Sommers: Revision Strategies (Dani):

  • Two representative models:
    • Gordon Rohman
      • Prewriting, Writing, Rewriting
    • James Britton
      • Conception, Incubation, Production
  • Models based on speech fail to take into account revision
  • Edward Corbett: Five parts of discourse
    • Inventio, Dispositio, Elocutio, Memoria, Pronuntiatio
  • “Writing begins at the point where speech becomes impossible”
  • According to Sommers, revision process: a sequence of changes in a composition – changes which are initiated by cues and occur continually throughout the writing of a work
  • Author’s experiment:
    • Student writers vs experienced writers when it comes to revision
    • Students
      • Predominant concern during revision: rewording/vocabulary
      • Thesaurus philosophy of writing
      • Large concern: repetition
        • Comes from imitating speech
    • Experienced Writers
      • Primary concern during revision: finding the form/shape of argument
      • Rereading with someone else’s eyes

Kinneavy: The Basic Aims of Discourse: (Dani)

  • Distinguishing expository writing from literature/creative writing may be too simple
  • Discourse: the full text, oral or written
  • Aims: the primary goal (delight, persuade, inform, prove, etc)
  • Intentional fallacy: “Dangerous […] to assume that what the author says he is trying to do is actually what the work accomplishes”
  • Affective fallacy: “danger to assume that the reaction of a given reader is an accurate indication of purpose”
  • “Discourses exist in a continuum with decreasing referential and increasing emotive affirmations”

The Technical Communicator as Author: Meaning, Power, Authority(Slack Miller Doak): (Tyler)

  • They begin by talking about authors?
  • Who is an author?
  • They say, “Rather than authors producing certain discourses, certain discourses are understood to produce authors. To grant authorship to a discourse is to grant that discourse a certain authority. In a peculiar turn of events, this authority comes to reside in the author, the author produced by the discourse itself.”
  • The Relevance of Communication Theory:
    • We are interested in taking multiple theories from communication and what they, together, can teach us
    • They are listed as: transmission view of communication(problems with conveying messages), translation view of communication(concern with interpretation and reinterpretation of message), articulation view of communication( concern with ongoing struggle to articulate meaning).
    • Corresponding to technical communicators, these are purveyors, mediators, and articulators.
  • Transmission:
    • Technical communicators are “taught, for example, that the highest goal they can achieve is “clarity and brevity,” which suggests a transparency that belies what they really do.”
    • To transmit the Sneder’s meaning as a perfectly executed message is the role of this communicator.
  • Translation:
    • Given the fluidity of meaning and the polysemy of any text, a translator can never be transparent. Lawrence Grossberg describes the position of the translator in this view: “Translation involves the retrieval and reconstitution of two different traditions, of two different sets of possibilities and closures. It always involves us in compromise, not only of the text’s language, but of the translator’s as well”
  • Articulation:
    • In contrast to transmission: The transmission view acknowledges that senders do have meanings that they desire to encode and that they do often desire a particular response to that message from the receiver. However, the transmission view limits our recognition of the full fluidity of meaning.
    • In contrast to translation: The translation view reconstitutes transmission to add an understanding of the receiver’s contribution to the constitution of meaning and introduces the constitutive role of a mediator. However, translation based on the model of encoding and decoding limits our understanding of the full authorial contribution and power of the mediator.
    • Different articulations empower different possiblities and siempowers others
    • Technical communicators are authors, even when they comply with the rules of discourse that deny them that recognition
  • Pedagogy and Practice:
    • It is essential that we learn to analyze critically the articulations evoked in the language of technology and science. In a sense, technical communicators need to be shaken from the somnambulistic faith that their work is linguistically neutral.

Notes for Jan 16

Adler-Kassner & Wardle: Naming What We Know 1: (Writing is a Social & Rhetorical Activity):

  • Writing always has an intended audience
  • “Writing puts the writer in contact with other people”
  • “The act of creating ideas, not finding them, is at the heart of significant writing”
  • Rhetorical triangle: writer, audience, and text
  • Meaning of words are relational – they acquire meaning from other words
  • Physical presence of writing mediates the activity of people
  • Writing is not as natural as speech
  • What is emphasized in assessment produces what is defined as “good writing”
  • “A book is a machine to think with”

Murray: Writing as a Process, not Product:

  • “conscientious, doggedly responsible, repetitive autopsying doesn’t give birth to live writing”
  • The process of discovery through language
  • Three stages of writing process: prewriting, writing, and rewriting
    • Prewriting
      • Usually ~85% of time
      • Focus on subject, spot an audience, choose a form, etc
    • Writing
      • Producing the first draft
    • Rewriting
      • Re- everything
  • Implication #1: text of the writing course is the student’s own writing
  • Implication #2: student finds his own subject
  • Implication #3: student uses his own language
  • Implication #4: students should have the opportunity to write as many drafts as he wants
  • Implication #5: students are encouraged to attempt any form of writing
  • Implication #6: mechanics come last
  • Implication #7: there must be ample time for the process
  • Implication #8: papers are examined to see what other choices the writer might make
  • Implication #9: students must explore in their own time/way
  • Implication #10: no rules, no absolutes

Cook: Layered Literacies:

  • Cook makes the argument for the necessity of technical writing/communication course. It turns out some schools were churning out engineers that were illiterate, so there was a refocus on technical writing for engineers.
  • Cook introduces the idea and important of literacy in this case, where we wanted people to know the “basics” reading and writing
  • However, nowadays since literacy is more widespread, literacy became more than just the rules and the foundations, it became more about understanding writing and clarity.
  • Then Cook goes on to name 6 important literacies worth mentioning first.
  • Cook argues that these literacies while are not all the possible types, are the ones that can encompass and fit a majority of frameworks
  • They are: basic, rhetorical, social, technological, ethical, and critical.
  • Since the world is more globalized, there are multiple literacies we have to employ in a multitude of ways
  • Cook brings up a good idea of an assignment they employ, which is a mock interview process.
  • There are readings, videos, and weird questions. Cook makes the point that students need the literacy to understand what interviewers are asking them in certain cases, and if that is appropriate or not(ethical), and then responding appropriately(Social).