Why Johnny Can’t Write, 2017

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

If you wonder why college graduates can’t write, you might take a look at what their composition teachers cogitate over.

Next March, they’ll be cogitating for three days in Kansas City over topics such as:

• “What Is Writing Studies Made of?”
• “Content Conflict: An Argument for Alternative Approaches to ‘Writing about Writing’”
• “Creating a Transferable Sense of a Writing Self: Findings from a Longitudinal Study of WAW [Writing about Writing]”
• “Transfer or Transformation? Taking New Selves to New Sites of Writing”
• “Kinds of Consciousness: Affect, Metacognition, and Cosmic Minds?”
• “Actualizing Selves in Universes of Discourse: Creativity, Identity, and Exigence in Metacognitive Transfer”
• “Writing-about-Writing and Post-Departmental Support”
• “Teaching First-Year Composition in a College Core Course” (this is actually the clearest they get)
• “Implementing a Writing about-Writing Approach in a High-Stakes Foundational Writing Course”
• “Reimagining Transfer through Multimodal Re-mediation”
• “Fostering Adaptive Transfer through Writing about Multilingual Writing”
• “The Rhetorical Situation and Transfer of Writing Knowledge from Basic Writing to Writing in the Disciplines”
• “Writing about Writing Courses and the Graduate Teaching Assistant: Cultivating Disciplinary Understanding in a Diverse English Department”
• “I Know You Are but What Am I? Engaging and Developing Students’ Sense of ‘Good Humor’”

Students might want to reverse the order of that last one and question whether their ‘sense of good humor’ is being put to a grueling test.