This part stood out to me
- Students first need to develop “writing fluency,” she argued, not simply learn how to fill out a form. She added, “Yes, Schaffer’s approach does remove the mystery for students about what their teachers expect in their essays.” Unfortunately, she observed, the method also removes the need for these students to judge for themselves how to shape their essays.
- we send students “a perversely mixed message” when we em¬ phasize the all-importance of structure and then judge them on how well they have mastered the form because we are also sending them the opposite message “that structure can’t be very important.” Structure, we are telling them, has no “inherent relationship to ideas, since just about any idea can be stuffed into the same form”
I see both of these articles Wiley and Fister talking against each other’s alterative of writing. Okay well it’s not like a deep conversation doing back and forth, but I see Fister arguing not to use formulaic essays because students get to wrapped up on what the end products should imitate and detour from content, you know the meat and potatoes. But at the end of the day all essays are formulaic in one way or another. I think the approach of formulaic essays would help students to understand there are X ways to write an essay and each one is correct according to the effiecnt use of that formulated essay.
As for Wiley I like the idea of her 4 paragraph essay. It is short and simple. As I read more of the description of how this essay is supposed to look it honestly reminded me of the 5 paragraph essay. I don’t see much difference between the old 5 paragraph and the new 4 paragraph- I could be missing something here but I really think 1) it is all about how you teach essay writing and its patterns 2) the elements are the same in most writing with using supporting evidence 3) the reason why students are having a hard time with essay writing is each teacher asks for something different and what is student generated is not valued because it doesn’t meet teachers expectations of format, voice, presented evidence etc. Really I think it is us teachers that need to be on one accord when talking about essay expectations and be recall and clear.