Downs And Wardle Summary

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In Downs and Wardle’s article, they argue and identify the flaws in teaching writing in college. Demonstrating the misconceptions that academic writing is universal, but rather specialized in each case. Citing studies and opinions from esteemed professionals, Downs & Wardle state their points and illuminate the problem in today’s many colleges. The opening of the article is a blunt declaration that the course of FYW is not properly taught in a correct way to provide academic success in writing for students. Stating the studies done by Ackerman, Berkenkotter and Huckin, Carter, Diller and Oates, Kaufer and Young, MacDonald, Petraglia, and Russel “Activity theory” which all intern demonstrated the main goal of FYW; that writing can we universally transferred in any field, is false. Downs & Wardle further state that…show more content…
However, their critical analysis of FYW and strong points for other teaching methods, one’s takeaway from the article is the question, “why even teach FYW”? It’s evident that content and context are the key points in academic writing, so why then do we even make the FYW a mandatory class? A student doesn’t need a semester to understand what content is, for some they already understand what it is, and for those who don’t they should still be able to learn it, in a week. The misconception of writing being universal is very true, but for a student to improve on one’s writing, the easiest solution is to have him or she participate in that discipline. In a realistic world, the more probable solution to most of the problems Down and Wardle bring up is eliminate the course and replace it with a class that allows a student to see and understand the writing in their field without the repercussion of grades. Thus students get more experience within their field and get to learn firsthand what academic writing in their discipline consist
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