Writing for Growth - Mount Vernon Nazarene University

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Transcript Writing for Growth - Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Writing for Growth

By Arthur F. Seamans

Introduction: The Title

Writing for Growth

You cannot write well if your intellectual and emotional development has been stunted

• If you are going to improve as a writer, you must grow. . . – in the awareness and understanding of yourself, – in your ability to understand and empathize with others, – in your ability to think clearly, and – in your use of language sensitively

A Theory of Discourse

by James Kinneavy

• • • • • Looking at the aims of writing and the modes of writing.

The Four aims of discourse: Expressive, persuasive, referential and literary The Four Modes Descriptive, Narrative, classification and Evaluative

Don’t Be Afraid

• • It is only natural that some writing during this semester will come easier to you than others.

• The intent is of this book is for you to gain balanced growth in a range of areas Some students may fear – Criticizing their own work or having others listen to them – Revealing so much of themselves in their writing – Writing what is truly important to them

Writing in a Liberal Arts College

• • Two types of education: – Utilitarian (knowledge needed to do a task) – Liberal Arts (knowledge needed to be human) The teaching of Writing has been caught in both camps.

– Teach tasks to improve mechanics – Teach to help students grow as human beings.

• •

“Writing Makes the Man”

Lord Francis Bacon 1561 1626 The person who undergoes the discipline of writing is forced to advance his thoughts from unexamined emotion to fermented thought—and from impression to statement.

The goal of

The liberal arts approach supposes that every human is possessed of some “genius” by the very fact that he or she is a human being “made in the likeness of God:

the true writing course is [to] nourish that genius and make it grow

Vigor Avoids Superficiality and Sentimentality

• • • When writers rely only on their genius there comes only sentimentality and superficiality.

They must strive to express truth.

Although the “cult of expressionism” places an absolute value on an individual’s thoughts and emotions—this unexamined expression is often neither honest no sincere.

• If, on the other hand, the search is a genuine one, the writer will be faced with the complexity and magnitude of life and his or her own finitude and ignorance – Insufficiency of fact (knowledge) – The heavy input of personal bias – The coloring of personal emotions – Fallacies in reasoning and logic.

• All of this is dramatized as they appear in a written creation outside the writer’s mind.

The Purpose of Teaching Writing

• • Is to encourage writers to write about what they know rather than what they merely imagine or think others want them to write.

• To thing about and find significance and order in their own thoughts and experiences.

And to be sensitive to and responsive to the reader who has a different background from them and different reasons for reading that they, the writers, have for writing.