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Monday, 14 October 2013

WAW: The Hidden Gem of Writing



WAW: The Hidden Gem of Writing
            Anais Nin once said “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” Throughout our entire lives we have written pieces to correspond with many different situations. Now that we are in at the college level, writing becomes more than just something that needs to be done; it becomes our personalities on paper. Angelica Nava explains this in her essay “Where Teachers and Students Meet” as she proves that the Writing about Writing course doesn’t only teach students how to understand writing, but will bring them to another level as a writer. Whereas the First Year Composition course teaches you the basics of college writing but never goes in depth and actually help you understand how and why you’re writing the way you’re writing. WAW teaches you the basics of college writing, and then goes to great lengths to not only help you understand college writing as a subject, but as a way of living your life as well.
            First Year Composition is the course for all freshmen, otherwise known as English 101. It is a course to establish basic fundamentals that separate the student from high school and college writing. The course serves as more of insight on how to improve your writing rather than teaching you how to write, such as high school. What is exactly the goal of First Year Composition? Nathalie Singh-Corcoran answered this in her essay “Composition as a Write of Passage” when she claimed “The overarching goal of FYC is to familiarize you with academic discourse…so that you can apply what you learn in future writing situations” (2). Singh-Corcoran explains that the goal for incoming freshmen faced with FYC is to take previously learned knowledge and start crafting their writing towards that of a respectable college student. In high school students were asked to write more towards an analytical sense without using their first person opinions; however, in FYC students are given assignments that ask for more of a personal foundation with an analytical edge. The goal of FYC ultimately is to help the student realize that their writing style and effectiveness does matter for future endeavors. Joseph Williams and Lawrence McEnerney state in “Writing in College” that “However different your assignments may seem…in each, you will almost certainly be asked to make a point” (3). This statement exemplifies what is covered in FYC: finding your voice and making your point. The establishment of a point unveils the argument and the true opinions of the student. In FYC professors are helping young writers to find their tone, argument, and thesis whereas in high school the student was taught how to understand a reading and determine the intentions of the author in the reading. Overall FYC is to help students step out of their comfort zone of writing and discover their true potential as a writer.
Writing about writing teaches you not only how to write, but how to understand writing as a whole. WAW will help advance your knowledge of writing, it will also help your writing not just through new methods and theories, but will help you express yourself better and pour your heart and emotions into. If you don’t understand writing how can you be expected to put yourself on the paper and actually be serious about it? Rhetorical situations are one of the many different methods taught in WAW that will help you understand writing. It allows you to ask questions about your writing and gain an understanding behind why you’re writing. The Rhetorical situation asks you to look at your paper and says who is my audience, what genre should this be in, is this paper going to be effective, and of course the most important question of all what is the purpose for writing this. Genre on its own will help elevate your writing whether you’re writing a text or a research essay it will always have to be addressed. As Charlene Beattie states in his paper Devitt describes Genre perfectly “Genre awareness includes knowledge of such things such as appropriate subject matter, level of detail, tone, and approach, as well as usual layout and organization” (Devitt 36). The genre of your writing is so important because if you don’t know what genre to write in then anybody reading your essay will have a hard time understanding it. WAW doesn’t only help you with writing it will also help you in you in life, it teaches you to be organized and to be able to give something one hundred and ten percent you need to first understand it first.. Everyone should be required to take WAW because when you’re done with the class not only will you understand and improve your writing you will also be a better person for it.
After the evaluation of First Year Composition and Writing about Writing it can easily be determined that the better course to undertake for incoming freshmen would in fact be WAW. WAW is the better teaching technique for incoming freshmen because it covers all basis it combines both high school writing and college writing. WAW asks the student to read, summarize, analyze, and create an opinion for the assigned task. In FYC all the student is asked to do is analyze the reading and make an informed opinion. WAW adds more techniques towards a written piece that the student can use to make their writing more persuasive and intriguing. Not only does WAW benefit the student in their freshmen year, but it also prepares them well for the future. For instance an essay that is required for a certain class is due the student will be able to summarize and analyze at a quicker clip rather than a student who was in FYC. WAW students have a better understanding of the rhetorical situation that allows the student to write more effectively and efficiently. WAW students learn that their writing means everything to their education. They also realize that they have been great writers all along, but were never shown how to appropriate their words into a concise paper. In the end WAW offers more to the students than FYC.
Conclusion:

Writing is the key to judge the personality of the writer and it is termed as the personality on the paper. Writing being the most effective communication tool is focused by the institutions with a view to enhance the capabilities of the students. First year course was an attempt to provide basic knowledge about the effective writing capabilities and was an attempt to polish the students for written communication.
First year course, English 101, provides a detailed insight on the basic rules of effective writing and analytical writing methodologies. This aspect is tested through assignments to the students on different topics and requiring them to demonstrate their learning capabilities with respect to the provided topic. The writing technique is improved through Writing about Writing (WAW) and it is a technique requiring the students to understand their writing capabilities and provides the ways to improve it. This technique covers the high school and college writing methods as this technique require the students to read, summarize, analyze, and create an opinion for the assigned task. The ultimate goal of WAW is to realize the importance of writing to the students and to make them ready to face the professional career with full confidence.