Which of the readings for this lesson stood out most to you? You might choose a reading because you relate to it. You might choose a reading by an author whose experiences especially contrast with your own. You might choose a reading that provided a special understanding of literacy sponsorship—or another idea—for you. You might choose a reading for another reason altogether. In any case, tell us about your reaction to this reading.
Answer question 2 from page 104 of Writing About Writing (at the end of Cisneros’s narrative): “Cisneros’s father supported her in attending college, but for very different reasons than her own. Explain how her father and college were what Brandt terms ‘literacy sponsors’ (p. 72), and how Cisneros ‘misappropriated’ the college literacy sponsorship that her father intended.” In addition, can you think of any situations when you have “misappropriated” your own sponsorships?
Answer question 6 from page 115 of Writing About Writing (at the end of Malcom X’s narrative): “Malcolm X asserts that his motivation for reading—his desire to understand his own experiences—led him to read far more than any college student. Respond to his claim. Has a particular motivation helped you decide what, or how much, to read?”
Answer question 3 from page 128 of Writing About Writing (at the end of Villanueva’s narrative): “Have you ever tried observing and imitating the writing moves that other writers make, as Villanueva describes doing with his English teachers (‘Professorial Discourse Analysis’)? If so, what was your experience doing so? If not, what would you need to look for in order to do the kind of imitation Villanueva describes?”
Name one concept from this lesson that you most struggle(d) to understand. What about this concept, term, or idea is troublesome? What do you currently think it means, whether you feel certain or not?
Answer at least 3 questions with, at minimum, a 3-5 sentence paragraph. In-depth, thoughtful, and careful responses are encouraged. Be specific where possible. Label your answers so readers know which questions you are responding to.
When it’s time to respond to your peers’ answers, respond to at least two peers. Your responses should also contain a few sentences per question, at the least. Respond as completely as you can. One-word or generic responses are not appropriate here. Your responses should contribute something new to the conversation.
When responding to answers for the last question (troublesome concepts), please provide your understanding of the concept or idea that your peers struggle to understand. Perhaps the way you understand it (and thus communicate it) will be helpful for them. If you, too, struggle with that concept, let your classmate know they’re not alone. It may be that in discussing the issue together, you both come to understand the concept better.Want help with the readings in Writing about Writing?
Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs have created helpful Assist Tags to help you get the
most from each reading. Look at pages 58–59 for more details on each tag.
CARS: Territory Look Ahead
CARS: Niche Reread
CARS: Occupy Read Later
Conversation Speed Up
Look at these readings to see the tags at work:
Chapter 2 — Deborah Brandt, “Sponsors of Literacy” (p. 68)
Chapter 3 — James Paul Gee, “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction”
Chapter 4 — Keith Grant-Davie, “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” (p.
Chapter 5 — Sondra Perl, “The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers”
Then try using the tags yourself as you read the other selections in Writing about Writing.
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WRITING ABOUT WRITING
A College Reader
A College Reader
Montana State University
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PREFACE FOR INSTRUCTORS
Writing about Writing is part of a movement that continues to grow. As composition
instructors, we have always focused on teaching students how writing works and on
helping them develop ways of thinking that would enable them to succeed as writers in
college. We foun