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Reading Analysis Adrienne Salinas Throughout many years of writing instruction, my teachers used several different techniques to teach

their students the necessary skills in becoming a better writer. Both Margot Soven and Richard Fulkerson have various beliefs and theories on how writing instruction can be taught. Some of which I agree with, while others I do not feel are as important or helpful in the writing process. Sovens approach appears to be very effective and positive, while Fulkersons four-part philosophies of composition lays out very different teaching philosophies. From the readings, both authors discussed several approaches and ideas that led me to side a lot with many of Sovens ideas, as well as Fulkersons explanation of the expressivist approach. Based off my own personal experiences in my writing and schooling careers, this combination seems to be very close to my own beliefs. Throughout my writing experiences, I found it useful when the teacher was open with feedback, and I appreciated when the teacher provided straightforward guidelines about the teachers expectations were for the writing assignment. I definitely agree with Sovens statement that the English teachers greatest challenge is teaching writing (1). Writing is such an open, broad topic that is hard to teach students the right way to write, because writing is unique to each student writer and even the writing situation. Writing is a way of expressing ones ideas, opinions, thoughts, and more in ones own voice, which makes it difficult for the teacher to evaluate student writing. A teacher can correct a students grammar, structure, or form, but it is hard teaching the student how to add creative and thought-provoking elements to the writing process.

Within Sovens book, I liked how she gave the advice that the teacher should approach the students with an open-mind and a positive attitude. Soven states, students will continue to enjoy writing if teachers continue to provide meaningful writing experiences without increasing their fear of evaluation be motivated to write if they have something worth writing about (2). I agree entirely with this statement, because I personally find it very hard to write about a subject that I am not passionate about or at the very least, somewhat interested in. When I am passionate about a subject, the words flow easily and the paper, as a whole, makes more sense. However when I do not care much for the subject, the paper then displays this contrasting attitude, making the paper both hard to write and less well-done. I believe that attitude is a key factor in the writing process. The teacher should be there at every step helping the students to keep an openmind and to feel like the subject they are writing about mattersthis can happen by engaging the students with class discussions to generate ideas and ultimately, for the students to form their own opinions. Writing is an ongoing process that is learned over time, which makes it important to practice and to continue learning as one grows older. Soven strongly believes in the importance of teachers of writingbe[ing] writers themselves (Soven 4). This statement is very relevant; because every time one writes, his or her skills continue to improve, which allows one to become even more familiar with the writing process. Teachers are also continually learning from their students. This makes it even more important for writing teachers to work on their own writing in order for them to be confident enough with their own skills to, essentially, practice what they preach. While Fulkerson shares various ideas with his four-part paradigm, I felt the expressivist theory related the closest to my beliefs from my past experiences with writing. Fulkerson

describes expressivism as emphasizing a more personal and emotional approach towards writing, that can guide the student towards self-discovery. This philosophy of composition can help the student to develop the desire to have writing [that] contain[s] an interesting, credible, honest, and personal voice (Fulkerson 345). With the combination of several of Sovens ideas and advice for teaching writing and Fulkersons compilation of the expressivist theory, I felt that this combination of ideas was very personable and relatable to my own past, present, and even future writing career.

Works Cited Fulkerson, Richard. "Four Philosophies of Composition." College Composition and Communication 30.4 (1979): 343-48. JSTOR. National Council of Teachers of English. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. Soven, Margot. "What English Teachers Need to Know about Writing." Teaching Writing in Middle and Secondary Schools: Theory, Research, and Practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999. 1-8. Print.