Enduring Ideas James Moffett Has Contributed Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1483 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

Moffett emphasizes that writing is connected to thinking, and that it is a peculiar type of inner speech. His ideas were based on the 1996 Dartmouth conference. A critic of contemporary modes and teachings of writings, Moffett believes that acquisition of writing skills is best acquired through everyday absorption in the mendacity and habits of everyday life and through everyday use of language. Language skills are taught through familiarity with the students, focusing on his or her personality, and structuring a design of activities which match her intellectual, emotional, and cognitive growth.

Discourse consists of speaker, listener and subject and the intercommunication and transmission -- or pattern of interaction between them. Narrative and drama are particular kinds of discourse that simulate daily life, and he shows the relationship between literature and daily life. No advocate of writing being taught via grammar, Moffett demonstrates the inadequacies of grammar and sentences in conveying literature, its messages and drama.

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Composition should be done by trial and error unlike that that is achieved, or presented, by most college composition textbooks, and language, rather than by grammatical structure and semantic nuances that is regularly drilled into the student. It should be recognized as an abstract structure of thought -- or a framework -- that enables the meaning to permeate, and the abstract to come through. Language, in other words, - and here Moffett sounds quite deconstructionist -- serves as human's fallible attempts and strenuous endeavors to express and articulate his non-coherent meaning and that which he strains to express.

Moffett advocates that writing is best achieved by students moving through five processes. These are, in turn:

1. interior dialogue -- where one expresses the idea that one wants to articulate to oneself and ascertains that one has a clear perception and understanding on what one wishes to express.

Research Paper on Enduring Ideas James Moffett Has Contributed Assignment

2. Conversation -that one, then, places this in writing precisely as though one were speaking face-to-face to another individual and imparting one's thoughts.

3. Correspondence -- one articulates this in a manner so that the other understands. In other words, communication is not done at another but rather to the other.

4. Public narrative and public generalization - writing is done in a public manner, disseminated in a public spectrum and, therefore, has to be understandable to more than one reader, and finally from this it follows that:

5. inference -- each reader is going to extract his or her own interpretation for the written words, and the writer has to keep this in mind when writing.

Following these five guidelines will assist the writer in focusing on the reader and on the impression that his or her words make, rather than, in the style of conventional college textbooks fretting about the grammatical punctilio of his words and sentences and whether he has, or has not, achieved style etc.

Such thoughts, maintain Moffett only makes writing torturous and ineffective, and makes the entire discipline of teaching composition both irksome for educator ad student alike. The most effective and pleasurable route, rather, is to zone in on the recipient and attempt to convey one's message in the manner most direct and understandable to him. Once done, writing has achieved its purpose.

To Moffett, there is a distance between speaker and writer; between hearer and reader; and between the subject. And it is the duty of the writer to bridge these gaps in order to make himself misunderstood in the clearest manner possible devoid of misunderstanding and error.

To Moffett, omoreover, one of the best preparations before writing is to imagine that one is the other, aand then to imagine what the other wishes to be told regarding the subject. To Moffett, then, it is always the other who takes the forefront of the writing endeavor, and the task is build around the other, i.e. The reader. Doing this, brings the subject to the reader, almost in the manner that the writer himself (or herself understands it), and the writer's words spring direct into the reader's mind as fresh and vibrant as they were when articulated in his brain and imaged by him.

Using developmental cognitive development as his model, Moffett structured a format of writing that ranged in levels. His hierarchical format ascends from narrative to more abstract and persuasive writing before it culminates in communication.

In essence, many of his students remember him gratefully for his two primary ideas: writing simply (focusing on the essence of the idea),… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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