Sunday, February 28, 2010

Inventing the University

This article bought up a lot of ideas that I knew about but did not know the specific terminology like "discourse" which is similar to code switching; when you use a different"voice" for different people and situations. I found it funny that when asked, a lot of students often respond with a quick no when asked if they code switch, probably they don't want to be viewed as being "fake" . However, the truth is that everyone does it all the time, especially in academic writing. Although I have(still trying to fully create) my own style of writing, I would never write a sentence using the same "language" as I would if I were posting a tweet on twitter or something. Even on facebook I am always conscious of my language and sentence structures because I have a few older friends and teachers that can see what I do. This is also know as audience awareness which is discussed in the article as well. All students are taught about the importance of audience awareness and how to write a paper keeping in mind who it is your audience(who is listening to reading the paper) is. When we gave speeches in my communications class last semester, our teacher was constantly reminding of that when writing or planning what it is your are going to speak about, also know who it is you will be talking to. That way, you know what is appropriate and inappropriate to say as well as the style it will be (i.e. comedic). Of course, I always use vocabulary that I know and use; I do not go to the thesaurus and look up "bigger" words to replace them with. It is very obvious when students do that because in an in class essay or writing they never use that kind of vocabulary but in take home essays they do.
When writing an academic piece, especially in college, never what is described in the article "talk down" to the university as sated by the Clay model. It says that it is done by "basic" writers who write as if they were a parent or person of authority and the reader has absolutely no idea about anything in the article. This confuses me because I though that when writing, especially about a specific topic, vagueness was frowned upon because your reader might have no idea what you are talking about. Also, it has been hammered into my head that when writing an academic piece you are supposed to write it as if the reader had never heard or read about the subject before. However, I think that you are not to talk/write it like they are a child. Something that really stood out to me was that when writing, you should always have a clear and firm stance and not be shy or timid when stating it. I often find myself struggling with this in a lot of opinion papers we have to do because I do not like to take sides and usually find the same amount of good and bad in things. That's definitely something that I need to work on.

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