Essay writers needed
Their rich narratives are enhanced by the performance phase of the project. Justin, for example, gave a breathtaking mountain biking demonstration, and it helped him - 87 - WRITING ASSIGNMENTS write a gripping narrative anecdote, which introduced the thesis of his paper. To support their theses, student writers organize the body of their papers around points scholarly writers make. Stu- dents synthesize textual points made by scholars with their own understandings of coming to know. Their focus is on connec- tions between these points themselves and not on the points made by scholars. In this way, first-year writers enter the conversation of others — who presum- ably have more authority and privilege to speak on these issues than do students — by connecting personally with the themes they address. Thus, student writers find something unique to add to ongoing conversations about disciplinary epistemologies. Expressive composing processes are juxtaposed intertextually to serve the interests of first-year students in an institution that historically has belittled and condemned their abilities. These composing processes serve students extratextually as well. Although diverse groups of stu- dents generally enroll in my class, one semester sixteen women and one man registered. Teaching a predominantly white, middle- class, heterosexual female group alerted me to ways in which gender-conscious teaching can make a mess in classrooms.
In this female-majority class, the gendered nature of knowing, learning, and writing percolated uneasily to the surface.
During prewriting, many women chatted and wrote blithely about things they knew a great deal about — dieting, sleeping, applying makeup, crochet- ing, and shopping. Women find themselves needing to choose between experientially learned knowledge and a seemingly separate knowledge of the mind.
I encouraged students to play with their topics of dieting, sleeping, makeup, and shopping. I said I would help them write plausible academic syntheses about the expertise they claimed if only they would claim it. They might create a space for transforming gender politics in classrooms. She performed a very funny parody of high fashion runway exhibi- tions. Her work put her readers out of synch with normal expectations for college fare.
Jackie exposed how feminized epistemologies might disrupt misogyny embedded in disciplinary ways of knowing and masculinized domination of academic discourse. Teaching this class, I realized that I had been pedagogically blind to what it might mean to write academically as a white woman, a working-class student, or person of color. As Kristie Fleckenstein ( 1999 ) explains, In sacrificing bodies to some illusion of either transcendent truth or culturally constituted textuality, we cut ourselves adrift from any organic anchoring in the material reality of flesh. Sherrington says a body knows itself to be real (qtd. Acknowledgments The author wishes to thank the editors for their thoughtful and gener- ous reviews of earlier drafts of this essay. She also must thank Kathryn Fitzgerald for ongoing inspiration and Connie Hale, Bruce Adams, and Mary Ellen Hughes for close and careful readings. All the readings discussed in this chapter that are listed by author and title but no year of publication are assembled in Kathryn Fitzgerald, Heather Bruce, Sharon Stasney, and Anna Vogt, editors, Conversations in Context: Identity, Knowledge and College Writing (Ft. Fitzgerald, Kathryn, Heather Bruce, Sharon Stasney, and Anna Vogt, eds.
Conversations in Context: Identity, Knowledge and College Writing. For those of us who have spent essay writers needed any num- ber of years in writing classrooms and for those preparing to enter them, one of the most challenging areas of writing instruc- tion is the arena commonly referred to as argumentation. And there is no short supply of readers and argument text- books on the market to assist teachers.
Typically, these texts rely on the fundamentals of classical rhetoric or Toulminian argument as the theoretical underpinning for understanding and compos- ing persuasive discourse, and they are often organized into units of thematically linked readings. At many institutions, my own included, students who successfully pass both sections of first- year composition, or their honors English equivalent, may well have fulfilled their writing requirement for graduation. Thus, stu- dents must be able to bring discourse skills to bear on the writing and research they do throughout their collegiate experience. A second concern is the decontextualized, ahistorical manner in which conflict can be portrayed — devoid of its social, political, economic, and local exigencies. The prompts emerged from an English 102 course I taught at an urban, largely commuter insti- tution the spring that Los Angeles was engulfed in riots follow- ing the acquittal of four police involved in the Rodney King - 94 - Conflict, Context, Conversation assault. Dividing the class into groups — one for each viewpoint — I asked each group to respond to a set of prompts: What reaction(s) did this party have to the verdict?
What kind of evidence do they provide for their position(s)? As a class, we considered how factors such as the shared assumptions of a given speaker, the type of appeals employed, and the degree of partici- pation or proximity each speaker had to the pivotal events af- fected her or his assessment of how (in)justice was served. The assignment I designed for the final unit on argumenta- tion asked students to create a conversation between three speak- ers brought together to ponder an essay writers needed issue or question of their choice. Students might use fictional characters, historical individuals, or figures drawn from the course readings. Although formal research was not a requirement for the assignment, if the speakers were debating a topic that demanded specialized knowledge, writers had to do some background reading to reflect a position a given character might reasonably assume. Provide some initial description of the speakers and background context to orient readers and introduce the issue under discus- sion.
The discussion should have a form, not merely ramble. We will be doing in-class work to help you think about the kinds of things your characters might say. It is not necessary that the speakers resolve the issues they raise — just that they flesh them out enough so the reader can follow the strands of conversation and the position of each. Read the draft aloud to yourself before duplicating it for your readers. An important aspect of this assignment is creating au- thentic voices for your speakers. As a prewriting exercise, I asked students to write a short (250- word) character sketch of each participant in essay writers needed the conversation. Student responses were then shared in peer writing groups, and they had an opportunity to ask the class for suggestions.