Readings about FYW

The six chapters in this section offer what we hope are engaging, accessible discussions about writing based on research in the field of Writing Studies. These first chapters address the importance of experimentation in your writing class, taking chances (and being willing to fail), approaching writing rhetorically, being metacognitive and mindful about your writing, and approaching your work with an open mind. You may have received excellent advice about what “you’re going to need for college,” but these texts encourage you to rethink, refocus, and reconsider what you know about writing and how you can make the most out of your experience in first-year writing courses.

In You Can Learn to Write in General, Elizabeth Wardle maintains that this oft-given general advice is not true. She proffers that there is no one way to teach someone how to write for all possible situations. Instead, Wardle wants us to note that first-year writing courses allow us to focus on identifying varying rhetorical contexts, as understanding of such aids our ability to approach differing composition situations.

Alison Carr’s Failure is Not an Option conveys the understanding that failure will happen and is therefore most certainly an option from which we can learn and improve our composing skills. Even though changing our mindsets about failure is not an easy thing to do, Carr has research to back up her claim that such a move is essential to good composition.

In Good Writers Always Follow My Rules, Monique Dufour and Jennifer Ahern-Dodson also dispel a myth about writing. They discuss how rhetorical techniques taught in classes are applicable in some situations but not others and want us to remember that awareness of the rhetorical situation in each writing context is a necessary component to good writing.

Corinne E. Hinton’s essay, So You’ve Got a Writing Assignment. Now What?, offers assistance on how to approach a writing assignment. She notes that understanding college-level writing assignments can be taxing; therefore, she provides a game plan for simplifying your approach to writing assignments and how to address areas of confusion.

Ellen C. Carillo, in Writing Knowledge Transfers Easily, argues that writing knowledge is transferred—moved from one class, situation, or paper to another—when we become metacognitive, or acutely aware of our thinking throughout the writing process.

In You’re Going to Need This for College, Andrew Hollinger tackles the routinely given advice “You’re going to need this for college.” After analyzing the advice as presented to him, given his experiences in college, he questions such a blanket statement. This essay may aid you in being metacognitive about what you personally need for college, from yourself, your instructors, and your colleagues.

The objectives targeted in Readings about FYW are Composing Processes and Integrative Thinking. While each chapter highlight a different aspect of Composing Processes and Integrative Thinking, this section emphasizes the subjectivity of the writing process and its importance for navigating multiple contexts, both academic and professional.



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The Ask: A More Beautiful Question Copyright © 2021 by Kate L. Pantelides; Erica M. Stone; Elizabeth M. Williams; Harlow Crandall; Lisa Williams; and Shane A. McCoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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