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Bad Ideas About Writing

Author: Cheryl E Ball, Drew M Loewe
Subject: Education
Source: Open Textbook Library
Publisher: West Virginia University
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We intend this work to be less a bestiary of bad ideas about writing than an effort to name bad ideas and suggest better ones. Some of those bad ideas are quite old/ such as the archetype of the inspired genius author/ the five-paragraph essay/ or the abuse of adjunct writing teachers. Others are much newer/ such as computerized essay scoring or gamification. Some ideas/ such as the supposed demise of literacy brought on by texting/ are newer bad ideas but are really instances of older bad ideas about literacy always being in a cycle of decline. Yet the same core questions such as what is good writing/ what makes a good writer/ how should writing be assessed/ and the like persist across contexts/ technologies/ and eras. The project has its genesis in frustration/ but what emerges is hope: hope for leaving aside bad ideas and thinking about writing in more productive/ inclusive/ and useful ways.

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