Readings about FYW

4 You Can Learn to Write in General

Elizabeth Wardle

Although the purpose of a first-year writing class is ostensibly to teach you how to write in college, there is no way to teach anyone to write in all situations. Instead, a first-year writing course asks faculty and students to understand writing situations and the best way to approach different situations. This is the argument of Elizabeth Wardle’s essay from Bad Ideas About Writing: “You Can Learn to Write in General.”

Read Elizabeth Wardle’s “You Can Learn to Write in General.”

Listen to Kyle Stedman’s audio version of this text.


Keywords from this chapter in Bad Ideas about Writing

dispositions, genre conventions, genre, literacy, transfer


Author Bio from Bad Ideas about Writing

Elizabeth Wardle is Howe Professor of English and Director of the Roger and Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence at Miami University (Oxford, OH). She has directed the writing program at the University of Central Florida and the University of Dayton, experiences that have contributed to her ongoing interest in how learners use and transfer prior knowledge about writing, and how courses and programs can best help students learn to write more effectively. She regularly gives talks and workshops around the U.S. on how threshold concepts and knowledge about writing and knowledge transfer can be used to strengthen writing courses and programs.



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You Can Learn to Write in General Copyright © 2021 by Elizabeth Wardle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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