10-second review: Writing is taking place everywhere beyond the college campus and we need to know the formats in which it is taking place.
Title: “Seeking New Worlds: The Study of Writing Beyond Our Classrooms.” BT Williams. College Composition and Communication (September 2010), 127-146.
Comment: Until we have cataloged all types of writing everywhere, our compositions courses at the college level are essentially meaningless. Do our composition courses enable our students to write successfully in other fields? How would knowledge of all the genres of writing affect how we teach writing—in one semester?
I admit that my focus on expository writing—in one semester—was unaffected by my knowledge of what types of writing my students were going to encounter beyond my classroom. The author of this article is making a good point. We need to know the types of writing our students are going to encounter beyond the classroom, in other fields on campus, in other professions, and with the myriad types of reports in all fields. We need to adjust what we teach about writing to the students’ needs beyond the classroom.
For example, if I were to do it again, and had the freedom to do what I wanted, I might spend at least half a semester showing students how to use models in adapting to the types of writing which will be required of them in other fields. RayS.