The writing process is always taught as a set way of doing things when, in fact, it is a process that requires personal methods that work for each individual person. It is a necessary lesson to teach in school but there should not be so much emphasis on following the exact way that is taught. It is a contrived process that was probably created by a group of scholars who didn’t even follow these exact rules. If anything, they all did variations of the ideas and then met in the middle with what should be taught. I am in no way saying that the guidelines are wrong but they need to be exactly that, guidelines, instead of a rut that students get stuck in.
When writing the simple 500+ word “Short Assignment 4”, an English 1010 student in Professor Lubber’s class must endure two whole pages of instructions. Although some of these instructions are tailored to how the teacher wants her students to write, there is still a whole section devoted to, “the standard requirements for the Short Assignments, with both form and content in mind” (pg 1). This section includes ten requirements that each paper must meet ranging from the obvious, “Multiple paragraphs required” to some extremely exact points such as font size and line spacing which will cause a student to loose points if not followed correctly. The amount of rules and standards that each student has to follow is intimidating and rather off-putting especially with the threat of missed points for missing one.
Personally, I never pay much attention to these standards for the exact reason stated above. In the book, “Essays on Writing”, Roy Peter Clarke writes an appropriately titled article, “I Won’t Use Writing As A Punishment, I Won’t…” (pg 3). In it, he describes the...
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...hat I never write a well thought out and clear thesis in any of my essays and I do that as a personal f**k you to conformity. If I were to give in to that, I would be no better of a writer than anyone else. We are taught to fit in instead of to stand out with our writing. After taking English 1010, I can honestly say that my writing method has not changed at all. The material was taught well but I refuse to obey the standards. I am a free spirit and believe in stream of consciousness writing as the most talented and most interesting style of writing however this is the exact style of writing that teachers don’t want students doing. They want students to think everything through and then think about it again. The system sucks but no one can voice their opinion against it because they were taught to hate writing so they can’t even write a speech or a persuasive letter.
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