Monday, July 27, 2009

Topic: Writing on Issues

10-second review: Find issues on the Internet and in newspapers or magazines and have students write their points of view on the issues It’s “authentic” writing because students care about expressing their points of view.

Title: “Making Writing Instruction Authentic.” E Kahn. English Journal (May 2009), 15-17. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: “I avoid expressing a view point myself, and when I need to play devils’ advocate, I preface statements with a phrase such as ‘But some people argue that...’ so that students don’t mistakenly assume that I am more sympathetic to one viewpoint than another.”

Comment: Supreme Court decisions are one source of issues, but you will also find them on CNN, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. Today, for example (6/18/09), the Supreme Court decided in a split decision that long-term prisoners do not have a right to DNA testing g on cases from many years ago.

Where have I seen this idea of writing on issues before? Note below. Not the same purpose, but the same idea.

10-second review: How teach students to deal with controversial issues in writing? Motivate students to write by raising emotional, controversial issues, but show students how to control their emotions when discussing them and writing about them.

Source: J Lindquist. College English (November 2004), 187-209. RayS.

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