Class Blog Entry #2 – Individual Writing Preferences (Sava)

Last night the class was assigned to read James Berlin’s essay entitled “Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories”, and this reading sprung an especially interesting class discussion today. The essay was about the 4 types of rhetoric and Berlin’s personal feelings about which form was best suited for society and students of today. Berlin concluded that New Rhetoric is the best genre of rhetoric because it finds the truth of a subject through communication. With the class discussion now focusing on writing processes, it was interesting to see how the discussion changed to talk about each individual’s personal journey with learning and applying different writing styles and their opinions. It seemed as if everyone learned the standard 5 paragraph essay with a thesis statement in the introduction supported by three pieces of evidence to support the thesis. I personally am not a fan of this style of writing and I was surprised to hear that there were people who supported it. As an engineer most of my scholarly papers are very technical and require an overall scope (which must be worded very precisely) followed by proofs and the science to support this original claim. For technical papers I understand this is necessary and the particular audience needs these factors but in terms of the subject of writing I prefer open ended themes with topics of my choice. In my senior year of high school I took a creative writing class and being able to write in a manner that I felt flowed efficiently and about a topic of my choice was so much more relaxing then the standard format. Most times when I have to write the typical 5 paragraphs I sometimes feel that I am forcing the words onto the page and it is difficult to create a free flowing and coherent paper. I wonder if the students who felt differently are opposed to free style for they are more comfortable with technical aspects and find the creative aspect challenging, or if there is another reason? Whatever the reason may be, I find myself agreeing with the genre of rhetoric that stated that writing is something that cannot be taught, only learned. I feel that grammar, structure, and certain tools of writing can be taught in a course, but being able to mold words into a final essay is something that must be practiced many times until one finds their personal style.


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