Writing in the 21st Century

This article was eye-opening for me in that it helped me to reflect back on my own writing experiences in school in a new light.  I always took it for granted that the way I was taught to write, particularly expository texts, was the standard of good writing and had been for decades.  As I read the article, I kept thinking how much I appreciated Kathleen Yancey’s concise explanation of the history of teaching writing.  Like she explained, reading was always associated with intimacy and comfort, while writing was anxiety-producing.  I think this characterized my own reading and writing experience growing up as well.  Reading was a pleasure but writing was a chore.  From a teacher’s perspective, it is comforting to realize that a lot of the writing instruction we use now was developed through research, yet it isn’t the only way that students learn how to write.  Yancey also mentioned that more writing seemed to occur outside the classroom, and that is something I whole-heartedly agree with.  If my students’ only writing experiences were to occur in the classroom, I would be concerned about their development and advancement in writing.  It is also comforting to know that we do not have to confine our students to the rigidity of the writing process because every student processes, thinks, and writes differently.  I think this can give students greater freedom and space to understand themselves as writers.  I also agree with Yancey that writing within social networking sites online has expanded what it means to be a writer because writing is a social act.  We write, most of the time, for an audience.

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