classroom, I used the model of Brittney Boykins Orality in the Composition Clasroom Audience: Now You ......
Florida State University Libraries Electronic Theses, Treatises and Dissertations
The Graduate School
Orality in the Composition Classroom Audience: Now You See Me. Now You Don't Brittney Boykins
Follow this and additional works at the FSU Digital Library. For more information, please contact [email protected]
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
ORALITY IN THE COMPOSITION CLASSROOM AUDIENCE: NOW YOU SEE ME. NOW YOU DON‘T.
BY BRITTNEY BOYKINS
A Thesis submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2009
The members of the committee approve the thesis of Brittney Boykins defended on July 6, 2009.
__________________________________________ Kathleen Blake Yancey Professor Directing Thesis
__________________________________________ Kristie Fleckenstein Committee Member
__________________________________________ Maxine Montgomery Committee Member
________________________________________________ Ralph Berry, Chair, Department of English
________________________________________________ Joseph Travis, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
The Graduate School has verified and approved the above-named committee members ii
I dedicate this to My family, I thank you. Though small in numbers, you are the force that brought me thus far. To my grandfather, strong and mighty, I thank you for always being proud and accepting my hand when I‘m in need. To my grandmother, for showing me that teaching is possible which was evident every night I saw you hurdle over stacks of papers and still able to keep a smile when I passed. To my uncle, you trusted in my ability and believed I deserved the best. To my aunt, who was but a call a way with intimate advice and an encouraging word. And to my beautiful mother, who listened time and time again concerning this paper, provided the example, and taught me to value my voice. I love you all.
I would like to acknowledge the Rhetoric and Composition department at Florida State University and those who helped me on the committee. To my collegues, who brought different areas, interests, and opinions to the discussion each and every day, it was a pleasure to learn from you all. To the trio, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Kristie Fleckenstein, and Micheal Neal, thank you for your advisement and assistance throughout this experience. I would like to acknowledge the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the YPDers/friends, who shared in my experience and supported me in every activity, for providing a space where I could use my voice and my talents freely.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES…………………………………………………………………………..…...vii LIST OF FIGURES………………………………………………………………………..........viii ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………………...ix 1. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………...…………………1 1.1 Literacy Event…………………………………………………………………………3 1.2 Community Text………………………………………………………………………5 1.3 Call and Response………………………………………………………….………….8 2. LITERATURE REVIEW………………………………..………………………………14 2.1 Orality………………………………………………………………………………..15 3. DESIGN………………………………………………………………………………….21 3.1 Methodologies ………………………………………………………………….……21 3.2 Course Design …………………………………………………………………...…..25 4. FINDINGS-PART ONE…………………………...…………………..……...…………29 4.1 How do students respond to an orally based workshop……………………………...31 5. FINDINGS-PART TWO..…………………………………………………………….....42 5.1 What impart does an oral activity have on students‘ sensitivity to audience?.............42 6. CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………….56 6.1 Changes/Modifications/ Developments…………………………………..………….58 6.2 The Future?..................................................................................................................63 APPENDICES A. COURSE SYLLABUS…………………………………………………………………..65 B. IRB APPROVAL LETTER……………………………………………………………...72 C. CONSENT FORM……………………………………………………………………….74 D. JOURNAL QUESTIONS……………………………………………………..…………76 E. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS……………………………………………………...……...78 v
REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………….....79 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH…………………………………………………………………...82
LIST OF FIGURES
1.1 New Mount Zion AME Church……………………………………………………….…..4 1.2 Literacies working together in church………………………………….…………………5 1.3 11th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church…………………………….6 1.4 Audience: Now You See Me; Now You Don‘t………………………………………….11 4.1 Transitioning from print to oral……………………………………………………...…..30 5.1Before and After the Oral Experience……………………………………….………..….42 6.1 Audience Sensitivity………………………………………………………………..……57 6.2 Sitcom Assignment …………………………………………………………………...…62 6.3 Sitcoms/ Popular Media to Formal Texts…………………………………...………..….63
This thesis addresses the benefits of orality in the composition classroom when audience is more apparent for writing students. Looking to the site of the black church as a literacy event and viewing the semon as a community text and call response as a rhetorical device, I used this model to construct a first-year writing course. In this course, students were encouraged to see that every assignment and written activity could take oral form through activities that enabled them to focus on audience awareness and envision themselves first as speakers and as writers second. Students are then asked to view writing as a social process as they participate in an ―oral workshop.‖ Taking on the two central questions for this study—1) How do students respond to an orally based workshop and 2) What impact does an oral-oriented workshop activity have on students‘ sensitivity to audience—I examine how this different approach, as observed by the black church, translates for writers.
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Sitting on the pew one Sunday, reflecting on my experiences in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, I realized how much the church influenced my literacy development. Through church-centered oral activities, especially, I found comfort in speaking and writing. I then wondered how might orality, as observed by the black church benefit the writing student? What would this approach resemble, and what difference, if any, would such an approach make? This project began with my personal investment in orality and was fueled by my observation of speaker and audience in the black church. Being the granddaughter and daughter and affliated daughter of many pastors, I have had the priviledge of listening to many sermons and admire orality as a means for effective communication that uses dialogue as a rhetorical device. Through this observation, I have learned to respect the power of the ―tongue,‖ which specifically refers to the ablity to move the audience to action. Under the leadership of my grandfather, Pastor Rayfield Pandley, I found a home in the black church where orality—oral delivery—is a prominent component of service. Moving to another church, where my identity as the pastor‘s granddaughter was no longer acknowledged, I used my voice to again find my place within the church community. On many occasions, I actively participated in the program: reading scripture, reciting the Decalogue, and singing solos in the choir. Later, when my mother answered her ―call‖ to ministry, I began to pay more attention to sermons. Attentive to the message and its purpose, I always turned to the scripture of reference, read along, and took notes more frequently instead of doodling on the back of the program. I began to realize that I favored and appreciated some speakers over others, not personally, but rhetorically. I noticed that some speakers/ministers rambled, unable to stay on topic; they did not engage the congregation; and they spoke in a way that did not meet the needs of the children. I enjoyed those speakers who spoke to children and adults, using language and jargon that challenged the children but still allowed them to follow along with the message. Other speakers, when using practical examples to illustrate their point, spoke both of experiences 1
of adults (work, bills, and marriage) and children (school and tests, peer pressure, and family). I began to analyze all speakers I encountered—at other churches, at school and in the community—in their ability to engage, motivate, and persuade using the rhetorical canons to effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas. I then understood that I was the ―audience.‖ Intrigued and not at all intimidated by orality, I joined the Young People‘s Department (YPD)1 and traveled each year to Black Heritage Weekend, a conference where all (that are able) youth from African Methodist Episcopal (AME) churches in Florida and the Bahamas go to compete and socialize with one another. I was always excited about reciting poems by black poets such as Betty Stevens Coney, Maya Angela, and Langston Hughes, among others. Soon, I was asked to help young novices with public speaking. We discussed spatial location, eye contact, performance, and genuineness. I watched the judges and understood that if one engaged them with their delivery, they were less likely to look at the copy of the poem that sat in front of them to see if the speaker missed a word. Instead, they were focused on the message of the speaker. I also knew what clothing and accessories were distracting. Even then, I was aware of professionalism. I understood that I was the ―speaker.‖ At last, I entered oratory contests where I had to create my own text and present it to a diverse crowd of peers and adults, including my grandfather, my mother, and other officers of various churches. I considered the text a mini-sermon, mini in the sense that I was a youth with a message. Already familiar with the benefits of memorization, I knew the value of eye contact and familiarity with one‘s text. I only had note cards to assist me, and even then I used practical—personal, social and communal—examples to prove my point. Competing each year not only made orality a special hobby, but it also allowed me to see speaker and audience in more dynamic ways by acknowledging that what I saw and learned was rooted in the black church. The rhetorical skills I gained from witnessing the sermon were so dependent on the relationship between speaker and audience that it could not be a monologue. The rhetorical theorist Mikhail Bahktin talks about this relationship similarly: As word, it is precisely the product of the reciprocal relationship between speaker and listener…Each and every word expresses the ―one‖ in relation to the ―other.‖ I give 1
YPD is a youth ministry. 2
myself verbal shape from another‘s point of view, ultimately from the point of view of the community to which I belong. (Bahktin 1215) The interaction of the speaker and listener is dependent on the social situation, and ―meaning does not reside in the word or the soul of the listener. Meaning is the effect or interaction between speaker and listener produced via [purpose]‖ (1226). My message, also defined by Bahktin‘s definition of ―word,‖ was created for that community, and the community responded in such a way that I knew I met my purpose: to reach and persuade members of that congregation. Because writing and speaking, for me, were such communal and performance driven processes, I want to first look specifically to the social situation of the black church as a literacy event, the sermon as a community text, and ―call and response‖ as a rhetorical practice.
First, I want to stress why the black church is a legitimate site to begin with as we think about literacy, which I define here as reading, writing, and speaking. The black church is the most powerful and longstanding institution in the African American community. The AME church, specifically, has historically viewed the education of the black race as an integral part of its mission as a church. Moreover, colleges and schools have been organized by these churches to teach the black masses (Johnson 23).2 Within the walls of the church, all members are encouraged to serve on committees and hold offices. These committees are not restricted to the church; they also serve the larger community. Additionally, it is a requirement for all ordained ministers to hold an academic degree. The youth of the church, as acknowledged in my personal anecdote, are urged and led to participate in activities that prompt literacy growth. Every member comes to witness and participate in the literacy event: ―What will be the word [message] today.‖ The speaker, too, is quick to encourage all members not only to listen to the spoken word, but study and show ―thyself approved‖ by reading the written word.
The AME college closes to Tallahassee is Edward Walters College in Jacksonville, Fl. 3
Figure 1.1: New Mount Zion AME Church, Tallahassee, FL
Known for her ethnographic work on black churches, Beverly Moss talks extensively about the black church as a literacy event. In the article ―From the Pews to the Classrooms,‖ Beverly Moss using Shirley Heath‘s definition of a literacy event: ―Any activity involving one or more persons surrounding the comprehension of and/or production of print‖ (Moss ―Creating‖ and ―From‖195, 147). By this definition, print and orality work together in one setting, shifting the boundaries between written and oral languages (Moss ―From‖ 209). The sermon is the focal literacy event within the church. Every activity (prior to and after the sermon) acts to complement and assist the event (the preaching moment) in knowledge making. In this event, the sermon utilizes at least three literacy activities: reading (studying the Bible and other references), writing (composing), and speaking (delivery). Moving beyond the main literacy event3 to a more visual context, we see literacy and meaning demonstrated in the physicality of the church space. Looking closer, one can see
Also, keep in mind that other literacy activities occur throughout the program. These events include the reading of scripture, reciting of Decalogue, and participating in special programs. Even nonverbal literacies are present, such as sign language, mime, and dance, etc. Thus, the sermon is only central as the major event of focus. 4
(Figure 1.2) how this church communicates through multiple discourses: the pulpit, the pews, the biblical text, the flags, the media, the cross, the choir stand and musical instruments, among other variables4 all working together to create meaning. If we then imagine the typical American classroom, some of the resources presented in the church are similar—the podium, the desks, the composition book, the flag, the projector, the motto of the university—to create meaning.
Figure 1.2: Literacies working together in church
Also, the position or presence of these variables shifts only slightly depending on each church and its resources.
Figure1. 3: 11th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church
The community itself is not limited to one site or church. In fact, there are eleven AME churches in Tallahassee alone. We could go beyond this city, to other counties, conferences (figure 1.3)5, and states, but even if we limit the exploration to Tallahassee, a viable churchoriented community is present. AME members in this area know the other churches and their pastors, hear of their ministry, and come on one accord to fellowship with one another. The community of churches is also linked and governed by a common history and doctrine and known for its unique style of preaching. This community of preachers, or rhetoricians of the black church, is known for what is termed black preaching. Richard Weaver, a rhetorical theorist, declares that ―men [and women] are born rhetoricians, though some are born small ones and others greater, and some cultivate the native gift by studying and training [seminary], whereas some neglect it‖ (Weaver 1359). When appropriated by black rhetoricians of the church, this ―gift‖ is termed black preaching, which unlike the sermon-as-lecture approach,‖ depends on ―crowd participation‖ as an integral part of the literacy experience (Mallory). Viewing the sermon as a literacy event, Beverly Moss posits that the sermon with its primary author ―exists as a creation of a community of participants‖ – active participants (―From‖ 203). Thus, the primary author is the speaker, and the secondary author is the audience. In fact, Moss proposes that the sermon/text is an ongoing process and unfinished because of the secondary author. Even if a minister decides to deliver the same 5
Conferences, as illustrated by figure 1.3, are communities or areas within the state. 6
message or word at a different time, the message can shift because of this collaboration between these two authors: speaker and audience, and I have witnessed this development for myself. In addition, when the delivery of the text is completed and after the audience feedback, the minister may consider how he/she might deliver the same, or similar a text, to a different audience based on assessment. In sum, the text may change in two different ways based on the community of particpants. Moss further stipulates, ―the texts[sermons] are used to create and maintain a sense of community…[dependent] on both participants, preacher and congregation, to be considered a successful text in the community‖ (Moss ―Creating‖ 151). The speaker uses ‗language and signs constructed for or against that community‘ to meet the needs of that audience. For example, in the black church, these signs include the knowledge of black history and present struggles, stereotypes, popular media, and language, such as black vernacular and song lyrics. The sermon can speak to a given situation that the audience member either witnessed as spectator or participant. Of course this is accomplished through the acknowledgement of shared knowledge and the minster‘s awareness of his or her community. When done successfully to reach the audience, the sermon can be so direct that someone may feel the text was written on his/her behalf. Ultimately, the community text works in three ways for the minister: 1) In order to produce the text, ministers must be aware of their community and the needs of the community because everyone participates in the construction of the text. 2) In order complete the community text in one particular event, black churches use ―call and response‖6 to create a sense of community, where everyone participates in the delivery of the text. 3) During and after the sermon‘s delivery, assessment based on the audience feedback and involvement in delivering the text allows the minister to return to composing in order to make adjustments and revisions before delivering the text again.
Call and response is discussed further in the following section. 7
In two and three, we see that the audience feedback is very important to both the delivery and assessment of the text. The audience feedback is acknowledged in both cases as call and response.
1.3 Call and Response Call and response takes on many forms throughout the service. Call to worship is a line by line reading where the minister speaks first and the congregation responds with the next line. A hymnal call is a ritualized performance of a traditional black spiritual, where one states a hymnal line, and then others sing it very slowly, almost moan-like. A prayer response is dually defined as members responding throughout the prayer with agreement and after the prayer with song. Call to discipleship is the invitation to either join the church or accept Christ, and the response comes from those who come up to answer. When thinking about white speech interactions and black speech interactions, we might consider the following: In most white speech interactions…the speaker speaks and the audience listens; in black speech interactions, the audience responds almost constantly, with set responses, encouragement, suggestions, and nonverbal signals. (The Rhetorical Tradition 1546) This holds true in most white versus black churches. Recently, I brought a white colleague and friend to a black church, and she noted the constant oral component of service. She explained that the song itself never seemed to come to a conclusion and the interaction during the sermon was particularly different from her church. She informed me that a quiet atmosphere resides during the entire service of her own (Szymanski). Of these speech interactions she observed, some were very set, written, and planned in the program, but others were less habitual, probable, and automatic such as the sermon. Call response in the sermon, ―the process by which the congregation responds to the preacher throughout the sermon‖ (Moss ―From‖ 202) can take different forms as well. It may complete a scriptural or hymnal phrase; it may affirm agreement by witnessing; others may see the response as a cheering, encouraging, prompting mechanism, and it may be observed through standing up, 8
clapping, crying, and yelling. Whatever form it takes—and again the responses are not methodical—call and response is an integral part of the community text. Its success is dependent on shared knowledge and community identity. Call and response allows for this interaction between speaker and audience or dialogue, permitting the boundaries between speaker and audience and written (composing of sermon) and oral (delivery of sermon) patterns to be blurred (Moss ―Creating‖ and ―From‖ 204, 175). Using Bahktin‘s words regarding the intent of the speech, in the black church, the response confirms the sermon‘s ―intention to move the audience to action and the audience‘s active role in interpreting utterances in order to reply and react‖ (Bahktin 1209). Though the goal of traditional rhetoric is very much the same—―to move the audience to action‖—the approach is obviously different in the black church. As a framework for this project, I want to determine how this different approach translates for writers.
Pews to Classrooms I have always understood that my participation in these church-bound oral activities led me to writing instruction. Considering my overwhelming interest and background in orality, I was recently asked why I had not taken a different route into communications and taught speech. This is a valid question because my oral background suggests that speech would be my curricular forte; however, these oral activities lead me to writing instruction. Thus, I propose that orality can be used in the composition classroom and will benefit the writing student, particularly by making the audience more apparent through oral opportunities and activities as they compose their print text. As I continued to sit on the pew every Sunday, listening to the pastor, I considered how I would incorporate these oral qualities oberved in the black church—audience, community text, and call and response—into the writing classroom and what reasons did I have for considering such an approach to writing instruction? Some may argue, and the curriculum suggests, that there is no need to connect the two modes of communication—print and orality—for the curriculum includes both writing classes (required first year writing class) and speech classes (required speaking course for some colleges and universities). Peter Elbow and Pamela Dykstra, among other scholars, have discussed the distinctions between oral and written discourse, but as Peter Elbow asks in ―Shifting Relationships between Writing and Speech,‖ what are we doing with these distinctions (286)? It 9
is important to think about these differences between written and oral discourse as we discuss ways orality can improve writing. We know from the reports of James Berlin and Catherine Hobbs that our incoming freshman students are particularly expressive writers. They write for themselves, not for another audience. In addition, my own teaching experience with first–year college students suggests that these writers are reluctant to engage in the possibilities of research because they do not welcome evidence that may contradict their own views. Expressive writing, the writing these students favor, ―is writing that assumes an interest in the writer as well as in what he has to say about the world‖ (Britton 159). And unfortunately, such an interest does not include other viewpoints of that world. When the world combats the beliefs of students, they find difficulty holding on to their stance, preferring to simply speak about a topic or give up on a subject altogether. I believe that in time oral opportunities and activities will lead our students to be more equipped for discussing their arguments by considering viewpoints and becoming small experts on the subject matter precisely because they do not want to be placed in a situation where they are ill-prepared for questions. In other words, our students do not like to be wrong or challenged, and we can capitalize on this anxiety. Furthermore, where an audience is present, many questions can be asked; answers can be provided; and knowledge can be produced through critical analysis. Oral opportunities will enable students to be much more persuasive because they have someone to whom they can talk or engage in dialogue. Thus, the social process of writing and the community of peers that surround students help them to begin to acknowledge the complexity of audience and enhance their writing in the process. Additionallly, at some level, the audience for any text is, at least in part, imagined. Walter Ong explains: [The problem for the writer] is not just simply what to say but also whom to say it to. Say? The student is not talking. He [or she] is writing. No one is listening. There is no feedback. Where does he[or she] find his[or her] audience? (59) In the case of the orator, the context is vivid, the audience present. When it comes to the writer, ―the audience is always a fiction‖ (Ong). Similarly, for the minister, the context is vivid and the audience present, and during composing, the imagined audience, too, is more present.
The first-year writing student as writer sees no audience as my classroom experiences demonstrate. Some do not even imagine one, and this absence is detrimental to the writer and the text. If students continue to write without the audience as a compelling feature, their writing becomes a limited artifact instead of a thriving voice that can speak for various purposes to a community at large. Writing teachers implement and require multiple drafts in the course to teach writing as a process, an ongoing process that in theory never ends. As much as we try to live by this idea through workshopping and portfolio, still after the third draft or the end of the course, there is a sense of textual finality. Accordingly, in terms of writing, we must guide our students to the realization that audience continues to exist even when removed from view and provide opportunities where the text can live on beyond the classroom. I believe orality or the oral experience (as viewed in the black church) in the composition classroom can move students to this realization because the act of sharing a text with a live audience provides for a more immediate and vivid perception of one‘s imagined audience. A u d ie nce : N o w Y ou See Me.
Pr in t —
P r i nt
Figure 1.4: Audience: Now You See Me; Now You Don‘t (New Mt Zion AMEC, Tall, FL. Model: Rayah Pandley) To assist in resolving this concern—where speaking provides an audience, and writing does not—I designed a first year writing course at Florida State University to make audience more apparent for writing students moving from print-to oral-to print. Students were encouraged to see that every assignment and written activity could take oral form through activities that enabled them to focus on audience awareness and envision themselves first as speakers and as writers second. I asked students to become more immersed in the process of writing and more 11
engaged in the purpose of writing. This approach to orality was intended to assist students in composing writing that was more effective, fluent, and meaningful. While discussing the qualities in writing and speaking and reading and listening, the class invited students to critically think about how they make rhetorical decisions based on audience. To see the effectiveness of this approach, the study asked five consenting students (three females and two males) to answer questions concerning their involvement in orality as they moved from print-to oral-to print. Implementing what I learned from my own experience with orality—the idea of community text, call and response, delivery, and print and oral discourses—the course asked students to actively participate in orality as they compose their text. Like the minister who composes with audience in mind and then speaks literally to that audience in order to sustain a community text, I adapted this model by asking students to then return back to print. The goal was to first highlight the effectiveness of placing audience in the room. Furthermore, for this study, I focused on two components of the course: workshopping and a formal paper assignment. Stemming from the foundational works of Mikail Bahktin, Walter Ong, Peter Elbow, Lisa Ede, Andrea Lunsford, Robert Zoellner, Deborah Tannen and Beverly Moss, to name a few, the study focused on one assignment of the course design to answer two central questions: 1) How do students respond to an orally based workshop and 2) What impact does an oral-oriented workshop activity have on students‘ sensitivity to audience? The study further leads to new ways of thinking about revision, reflection, and rhetorical practices relative to audience awareness. I envision this study as only the beginning as I explore what students need in order to compose writing that both compels and speaks to an audience or community at large. In the following chapters, Chapter Two highlights what prior research has contributed to the study of audience in the classroom. While highlighting both the limitations and affordances of the church vs. academic institution, and how church and institution parallel, the study hoped to make use of the distinctions between oral and print effectively in the writing classroom. Chapter Three shows how my readings and experience helped me to construct a course that assists students in making audience more perceptible through oral possibilities; it also explains the methodology used in the collection and analysis of data. Chapter Four and Five attempts to answer the two central questions above as students shift the boundaries between print and oral, speaker and writer, writer/speaker and audience. Lastly, this thesis addresses what this study 12
might mean for the future composition classroom as it continues to understand and benefit from orality.
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
Beverly Moss‘s article ―Creating a Community: Literacy Events in African American Churches‖ is pivotal to this study and provides a framework for this project. In her study, Moss focuses on literacies outside the classroom, particularly the African American church. Many other scholars—such as Marcia Farr‘s study on literacy practices among Chicano Mexicanos, Anne Dyson‘s study on the appropriation of media material for school literacy, Daniel McLaughlin‘s study on the dialogues of the Navajo Indians, and Shirley Heath‘s examination of literacy activities in two southern communities7—have done ethnographic work that demonstrates that literacy is developed in and out of the institution and across communities. Similar to Moss and others, I too look beyond the classroom to the site of the black church, more specifically to one with which I am most familiar, the African Methodist Episcopal church. Unlike Moss, I hope to use the black church as way of bringing those observations back to classroom instruction, focusing on the role of audience. I believe the model demonstrated by the black church by way of the ―community text‖ and ―call and response‖ can be adapted for writers as I attempt to make the written audience more perceptible through oral activities. Moreover, the program of the 2009 4C‘s Convention8, explicitly called for more oral pedagogies in composition studies. Consequently, Chapter Two will first highlight some of the prior oral pedagogies and research on audience in order to lead into a new conversation, a new response to the call above. 7
Individual studies can be found rpt in Moss, Beverly. Literacy Across Communities. Cresskill, New Jersey, Hampton Press, Inc, 1994. and Villanueava, Victor, Ed. Cross- Talk in Comp Theory. 2nd ed. Illinois: NCTE, 2003 Conference on College Composition and Communication. ―Making Waves.‖ San Fransisco, California.
2.1 Orality Orality has been discussed and introduced in the composition classroom in several ways, one way as a comfortable mode of communication. Students are familiar with speaking and holding conversations, so teachers are often encouraged to provide conversational comments when responding to students and their writing because it is less threatening and more familiar for them. Similarly, Robert Zoellner‘s 1969 article ―Talk-Write Pedagogy‖ elaborates on one-on one conferencing. He talks about a student conference where this ―cortical utterance‖ was useful for reiteration and clarity: ―what did you mean to say?‖ (296). Admittedly, I too stop when a student has trouble revising a sentence; and in most cases, their verbal recount is much more fluent and understandable than the written portion, and thus, a useful tool for improving writing. Zoellner‘s approach to conferencing was a necessary strategy for a ―vocal-scribal dialogue between teacher and student aimed at the sharpening and expansion of this vocal kernel or word pattern substrate‖ (297). He also questioned the instrumental metaphor—―The written word is thought on paper‖—in English composition, this notion that the act of thought with the act of writing work simultaneously. He proposes that 1) the ―theory and practice in English composition is dominated by such instrumental metaphors‖ and 2) this metaphor (treated more like fact) is ―outmoded and grossly simplistic‖ (269). He asks how effective these metaphors are to the progress of teaching writing. Jimmie Killingsworth (1993) also speaks of this approach when he states, ―product is to literacy as process is to orality.‖ Killingsworth addresses the emergence of the ―process, not product‖ slogan in the 1970s (26), beginning the new era of writing instruction where workshops, conferences, and writing centers used orality as a means of process pedagogy. Further, Zoellner also demonstrates how orality is empirically accessible— outwardly expressed (―observable and manipulative‖ ) instead of internally limited—and valuable to for research in order to breach the internal processes of the writer by asking students to verbally reflect on those thoughts. In the same year, Charles Campbell published ―Think –Talk-Write: A Behavioristic Pedagogy for Scribal Fluency,‖ and he makes an interesting point when he acknowledges the ―writer‘s responsibility for control of the whole composition, not just one or two sentences at a 15
time as the concept of the ‗visceral blurt‖ (214). Campbell questions the usefulness of orality on an entire paper, which leads to the next conversation: audience. Six years later, Walter Ong‘s 1975 article ―The Audience is Always a Fiction,‖ though geared to fictional narration, has provided the framework for beginning to talk about literacy and orality in the matters of the whole composition by focusing on who the writer is speaking to throughout the text in addition to what is being said. Similarly, the metaphor Zoellner speaks of, ―writing is internal,‖ coincides with the problem Ong proposes, ―audience is a fiction,‖ which limits writing to thought and product-driven texts that are private. Ultimately, writing instruction found both oral pedagogies and process pedagogies necessary for the progression of student writing. Because students have the difficult task of negotiating the terms of audience as a writer, the 1984 CCC9 article, ―Audience Addressed/ Audience Invoked: The Role of Audience in the Composition Theory and Practice‖ by Lisa Ede and Andrea Lunsford, explains this difficulty by grouping audience into two categories: 1) Audience addressed ―emphasizes the concrete reality of the writer‘s audience…that knowledge of this audience‘s attitudes, beliefs and expectations is not only possible but essential, [relying on] real readers who actuality exist in the world of reality. 2) Audience invoked ―is a construction of the writer, a created fiction‖ because the writer cannot know his audience as the speaker can‖ (79). Linda Flowers (1981) speaks of the inexperienced writer‘s difficulty imagining how the reader/audience will respond to a given text and suggests that Ede and Lunsford describe a sophisticated imagination that writers must gain when thinking about the role of audience, one that writers gain when they shift from readerbased prose to writer -based prose. Margaret Walters (1993) also states that students have to not only negotiate the intended text but also the intended audience: ―synthesis between a real audience, with its focus on the reader, and an imagined or created audience, with the focus on the writer‖ (241). This is the task that writers must face, and in her 1979 article ―On audience and Composition,‖ Lisa Ede argues that writing teachers need to place greater emphasis on the role of audience:
College Composition and Communication 16
We want students to be able to compose in any given situation, so we must help students create contexts that will more closely approximate later writing situations, academic and nonacademic…the teacher can provide the context and audience for the students, or the teacher can stimulate students to create them for themselves. (294) Doug Park, in his 1982 article ―The Meanings of Audience,‖ agrees that the rhetorical situation is necessary in considering the audience for the writer: What are the different considerations in writers' minds in different rhetorical situations when they come to terms with audience? What are the features of texts that we most appropriately use to define and discuss audience in different rhetorical situations? (251) While affirming, as Bahktin also declares, that the role of audience is dependent on that situation, Park adds to the conversation by proposing that the role of audience is so ambiguous and elusive for the writer because it takes on different meanings. He piggybacks on previously established meanings of the term audience when talking about ―writers aiming at, assessing, defining, internalizing, construing, representing, imagining, characterizing, inventing, and evoking audiences‖ (247). He advises teachers to think about what we mean when we tell students to ―consider their audience‖ and also understand the ambiguous nature of the term when we do not. Once students are able to understand not only the role of audience on the composition but also how it is being defined for that situation, they can then position themselves in situations that allow them to create the context and engage in dialogue with that audience. Margaret Walters (1992) later stated that Zoellner‘s pedgagogy was an ―Instrumental Concept for Composition Today.‖ This pedagogy is described as ―dialogic problem solving by which the variance between what the writer intends and what the writer writes is subjected to a dialogue aimed at its resolution‖ which speaks to not only a few sentences (dialogue between teacher and student) but a whole composition (dialogue between speaker and audience). Similarly, we can return to Makail Bahktin accounts of a dialogic problem solving in The Problem of Speech Genres: Thus all real and integral understanding is actively responsive…And the speaker himself is oriented precisely toward such an actively responsive understanding. He does not expect passive understanding that, so to speak, only duplicates his 17
own idea in someone‘s mind. Rather, he expects response, agreement, sympathy, objection, execution, and so forth… Literary meaning, unstable and polysemous, depends on dialogue—that is, on the negotiation of meaning between text and interpreting reader and not the literariness of the text and its pure perception by the reader. (1233) Passivity is then a practice that orality endeavors to avoid by asking students to become active, physically active in the process of writing. So, thinking of an oral process pedagogy, where writing is neither private nor product driven, I use the community text as an externally-based writing approach and call response, or dialectic, as a process-driven writing approach. For the course I designed, I endeavored to appropriate the observed church setting to the classroom setting. In order to do this, I revisited the talk-write pedagogy of Robert Zoellner. Unlike the artistic canvases used by Zoellner to prompt constant verbal reinforcement in his classroom, I used the model of the church to reinforce oral and communal possibilities. Because writing and the process is the basis of the composition classroom, I then looked to Killingsworth‘s analogy —product is to literacy as process is to orality- by introducing a different method of workshopping called the ―oral workshop.‖ Attempting to transfer call and response to the setting of the composition classroom, each student was given seven to eight minutes to orally present the second draft of paper two as a method of process writing. Considering the church setting and the immediate feedback of ―call and response,‖ I realized that call and response does not fit perfectly or seamlessly in the classroom, so responses were postponed until the end of oral presentations. Though I attempt to appropriate the church for my classroom setting, I had to consider how the space of the classroom could and would be used. Referring to a more academic forum, I turned to Deborah Tannen, who affirms that scholars in the field of writing use orality throughout their professional careers. If we take 4C‘s for example, many presenters, both graduate and doctoral, use this forum as a process method. They present at conferences to either introduce ideas or receive comments and questions that the speaker then takes into consideration as he/she proceeds to the product and/or publication (the print text). This process, the use of orality, is not only effective in scholarly conferences or graduate courses but can be useful for first year writing as well. 18
Additionally, the model of the black church and the idea of community text could be more easily adapted for the classroom by understanding the sermon as a text. First, Elizabeth McHenry and Shirley Heath in ―The Literate and the Literary: African Americans as Writers and Readers—1830-1940‖ acknowledge the sermon as a multi-literate text: Abilities in reading and writing were confluent with and indeed often the basis of spoken performances for the most famous of African American ministers. Numerous written sources—spiritual, political, and rhetorical—produced the skillful argumentation and memorable flourishes of the ―literary‖ that lay scattered within sermons delivered orally. (263) As stated earlier in Chapter One, literacy in this case is defined as reading, writing, and speaking. What is important as we refer back to the composition classroom is writing. For the minister, writing was a method of preservation because some ministers would later rewrite the sermon for publication or distribution for their congregations. Similarly, the writing students will engage in multiple literacy activities as a process for returning to print. Like the real experience of public speaking, the author/speaker will be utilizing vocal modality and too, the author/writer, will find their way back to the scribal modality. Second, viewing the sermon as a literacy activity, Beverly Moss offers that the sermon with its primary author ―exists as a creation of a community of participants.‖ Students then will depend on audience to make ―a successful text in the community,‖ relying, as do ministers, on the shared knowledge of those participants in that community. Unlike the product- driven and private text, this study views writing as a social process. Park suggests that simply using members of the class is not enough to exhibit audience in the classroom: [This] can be said to provide an audience only in the commonly used sense of external listeners or readers. Students' reading of one another's writing does not provide that crucial ingredient, people rhetorically involved. The student writing for members of the class still has the problem of finding or inventing appropriate rhetorical contexts. (255) In this course, I try to provide a rhetorical context by assigning audiences with which students are most familiar, and communities they have assess to. Admittedly, even when asked to address 19
a particular audience, students typically view the teacher (limited audience) as the invoked audience. Simultaneously, students anticipate how the teacher will respond to their effectiveness of meeting the assigned or designated audience‘s expectations. The goal is not to privilege the invoked or addressed audience; it is to help students envision audience addressed as a reality or possible reality, understanding that the teacher is not the only audience but a representative of the intended audience. Additionally, students should see their peers similarly, not only as classmates but as representative of a community at large by engaging in the multiplicity of audience. Thus, students in this model actively and publicly10 presented themselves to an audience, and the project provided opportunities for reflection and revision. This process provides a new way to define workshopping, where speaker becomes audience and audience becomes speaker, all in one setting: call and response and a community text in the composition classroom. In Chapter Three, I describe the course that uses orality as a social process. I will then explain the methodology and data used in order to gauge the effectiveness of the course and answer the questions of the study.
Though restricted to the classroom, I believe perhaps a step beyond those walls of the classroom. 20
CHAPTER 3 DESIGN
In Chapter One, I explained the focus and concerns I have for students and how they view audience in the writing classroom. I have further acknowledged the black church as a legitimate site of rhetorical study, the sermon as a community text, and call and response as a rhetorical device that can be appropriated in the writing classroom to help students make audience more apparent in their composing process. In Chapter Two, I reviewed prior scholarly research on the matters of audience in the composition classroom and some groundbreaking moves that placed orality into the conversation of Rhetoric and Composition studies. I proceded to propose a different way to contribute to this conversation based on my observations and research on audience awareness. Now, in Chapter Three, I will outline the research design and methods for a course that uses orality to benefit the writing student. In order to move further into the project, I not only had to think of the best way to implement the theoretical framework introduced in this thesis but also pursue the central questions of inquiry: 1) How do students respond to an orally based workshop and 2) What impact does an oral- oriented workshop activity have on students‘ sensitivity to audience?
3.1 Methodologies A case study approach proved to be the most appropriate and effective way of inquiring into the two central questions noted above. In this project, I ―collected information about an event, situation, or small group of persons for the the purpose of exploring, describng, and/ or explaining aspects not previously known or considered‖ (MacNealy 197). This research project indeed focused on one major event in class: the implementation of the oral workshop during the second writing assignment, focused on applying the notions of community text and call and
response to the workshopping activity. In essence, there were five data sets collected, and five students participated in the study.
Consent (see Appendix C) The study was approved September of 2008 by IRB (see Appendix B) two weeks into the semester. On the fourth week of class, I presented the consent form to students. As a class, we carefully looked over and discussed the intent of the study. I explained my personal experience, and though my intention was not to convert them into the profession or my religious belief, I shared where the study idea began. All students signed a form: either to consent or not to consent. This way no one could tell who was participating and who had not chosen to participate. After consent forms were signed (either to consent or not consent), they were placed in a concealed envelope by the proctor (a student volunteer) and taken to the faculty advisor. The envelope was placed in a locked location and later opened, January of the following year, after the semester came to an end and the final grades were submitted. Because the course allowed for the collection of all texts, students who consented gave me permission to analyze them. I also asked students to participate in a fifteen minute interview that was conducted February of 2009.
Participants This study addresses two different class populations: regular and CARE. The first year writing student is typically admitted through regular admission consisting of a predominately homogenous white, 18 year old population. The Center of Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) program consists of those students who are first-generation students in college or those students who need financial assistance; this program intends to help students transition into college life. Unfortunately, I have witnessed colleagues attributing this program and classes offered to remedial learners; this is a mistake. The conditions of CARE are designed for first generation students, but this does not mean they are less qualified academically than the regular population. It just so happens that this class (though in another class, this might not be the case) is made up of predominately black, 18 year olds. It is interesting (for this study) that the majority in one class is the minority in the other: few black students sit in the Regular class, and few whites sit in that of the CARE class. In each case, a member of the minority agreed to participate in the study. For instance, Jessica (Regular) is of African American descent and Jon 22
(CARE) is of Caucasian American descent. Aware of the demographic difference, I chose these two classes to affirm that while the course was culturally grounded in my experience, the approach here was not limited to students of a certain cultural background. This, too, is also evident in how I describe the design of the course.
Table 3.1: Participants Name Gender
Data Set For the purpose of answering the two central questions, my data set includes the following:
Journals (see Appendix D) As a way of evaluating the class‘s effectiveness throughout the term, I relied on structured journal writings and assignments. Using the guidelines of effective teacher research as described by Mary MacNealy, journals asked students to reflect on various activities in class in order to reflect change in students as well as the teacher. Though some journals were responses to readings and subject matter, others were used as reflective pieces. More specifically, journal one asked about their past experiences and prior writing situations (243). Journal five, then, was designed specifically for the oral workshop. Journal one and journal five were particularly used for the study. Students during these reflective moments were asked to respond to both the written workshop, and their experiences with the new oral workshop. Usually, I post all journals on Blackboard before the start of class for students to view. For the most part this was true; they were available on Blackboard for students to review anytime throughout the term. For this course, I opted to eliminate journal five from view because I wanted students‘ initial and honest reactions. In addition, I did not want students to complete the 23
journal prior to the assignment or to be influenced by their peers. Students were e-mailed journal five after the completion of their oral presentations; they had until the next class meeting to complete it.
Two Drafts of Paper Two To empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of how an oral workshop fosters audience sensitivity, I used discourse analysis to highlight student changes made to their print drafts following the oral workshop. Moreover, the second paper attempted to move students chronologically from 1) print in draft one 2) transitioning from print to oral (oral workshop) in draft two 3) back to print in draft three The focal question of this study was what happens to the print text before and after the oral presentation looking specifically at paper two? I relied on discourse analysis to determine the relationship between draft two and draft three. I defined such change—that is, change sensitive to audience—through the following markers: A) personal anecdotes: did the students similarly use personal narratives or examples as a ―testimony‖ to their audience as ministers would do? B) examples specific to that audience: do they provide effective narratives of others that assist the argument and speak to the needs of the intended audience‘s experience? C) collective pronouns such as we, our, and us: using the strategies that ministers consistently use to help establish a community (Moss, ―Literacy across Communities‖ 167): did students use language to employ a sense of community indicating a shared audience? D) direct address: do students find comfort in using direct adress as if the audience is truly known and available to them? Taken together, shifts in these discourse markers allow writers to address a given audience more specifically.
Observations during the Oral Workshop of Draft Two While students presented draft two, I observed any changes they made while transitioning from print to oral (as students orally presented their print text). Listening to the oral text, I marked any 24
deviations, pauses, ad libs, sighs, or observations that were in contrast to what was written in the text. I noted if students chose a different medium, like PowerPoint or note cards as means of delivery11, and how they chose to discuss the paper. I also noted the general comments made by peers and how students responded to the ―oral workshop.‖
Interviews (see Appendix E) Interviews were conducted after the term, or at the beginning of the next term in February 2009. Connie, Steven, and Jon were interviewed separately. And Jessica and Saisha though from two different classes, were interviewed together. This choice of interviewing, either individually or in a group, was not intentional; it was primarily based on convenience and solely upon our availability and scheduling. The interviews focused on specific questions about the students‘ experiences with orality in the class and issues concerning audience.
3.2 Course Design Diverse Ways of Composing Oral and Print/ ENC 1102/ENC 1145 (see Appendix A) In order to make the audience more present, every assignment asked students to think about audience first as they made rhetorical decisions during composing. Because I asked students to speak to audiences throughout the term, I felt that the second semester first-year writing course was more appropriate for persuasive writing because this course specifically asked students to take stances and then persuade their readers and listeners to side with their arguments. Additionally, because this course focuses on research writing, I had to balance my underlying focus with that of the curriculum‘s focus. In some instances, class time was strictly reserved for the overall curriculum—research, citation format, grammar, process writing. At other times, it was reserved for oral and written activities and discussion. In most cases, I was able to integrate these focuses because of the multiple means by which one can teach the course. Designed to help
This choice to give students the liberty to deliver in any form might be modified in another course, discussed further in Chapter Five. 25
students throughout the course, the class was broken down into three units. For the basis of course development, I will highlight Unit 1, and regarding the study, we will focus on Unit 2.
Unit 1 During this unit, we talked about ways we read and listen, write and speak. We read transcribed speeches such as Barbara Charline Jordan‘s 1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address and Mary Fisher‘s 1992 Republican National Convention Address. Journal two stimulated the discussion by asking students about the rhetorical strategies used by these authors based on their audience. In class, we evaluated intention, focus and tone of the texts, and then using americanrhetoric.com,12 we listened to the speeches and discussed how and why, if any, our views changed. We also used the site to think about movie speeches. Students were first taken aback by the notion of correlating speeches with movies, so we first evaluated speeches such as Jake Tyler Brigance's closing argument in A Time to Kill, General Maximus Meridius‘s Coliseum Address to Caesar Commodus in Gladiator, the President‘s address to fighter pilots in Independence Day, and Coach Tony D'Amato‘s "Peace by Inches" address to players in On Any Given Sunday. Students then brought in their favorite movie speeches for journal three and discussed the difference again between reading and listening. In contrast to the transcribed speeches that were discussed in written form first, most students had heard the speeches of popular media before they examined them in print. Therefore, we discussed the affordances of first listening, then reading versus first reading, then listening. Because it was the beginning of the term, I had to first address the formalities of the course (workshopping, plagiarizing, grammar, and conferencing). Of these formalities, the class focused first on workshopping. Students were assigned Richard Straub‘s article, ―Responding— Really—Responding—to Other Student‘s Writing.‖ In this text, Straub suggests that students avoid comments such as ―good job‖ and ―nice paper‖ and lend comments that offer constructive criticism that not only demonstrates that the reader was intently focused on the paper, but also concerned with writerly improvement. Journal one then asked students about their prior experience with workshopping (the written workshop). To paraphrase, the prompt asked the following: Does Straub‘s article align with your experiences, and if not, how was it helpful, or
Americanrhetoric.com is a database for popular and famous speeches. 26
how might you change based on this reading? Journal one was intregal to the study as a bridge to introducing the new method of workshopping. The discussion of the distinctions between written and oral texts and the experiences with prior workshops led to the next unit, which is the primary focus of the study.
Unit 2 Research became a major focus in this unit. Students and I went to the library for instruction, discussed MLA citation, and learned how to effectively implement sources. Readings focused primarily on writing strategies: conversing with sources, sustaining interest, etc. Grammar instruction arose as necessary. While the class focused on these matters, paper two invited students to consider audience more attentively: Paper 2: The second paper will be a tad bit more extensive. You will have your pick of 5 suggested audiences. Based on the audience, you have the opportunity to decide on the topic or subject matter upon approval. You also have a choice of either a persuasive or argumentative essay. After draft 2 is complete, you will have exactly 7 min to present the paper orally to class. Your audience will then listen, comment and pose questions. You will be given additional time to converse with the comments and audience, and return to print before turning in the final product. 5-7 pages. The audience will be asked to take on the intended audience and respond to the speaker—we will also begin talking about MLA format and sources. For this paper, students were randomly given an audience from the following selections: 1) college students; 2) students (minors:17 years-old and younger); 3) athletes; 4) teachers; 5)wild card (student‘s choice). I chose these audiences because of the class demographic, the students‘ overall familarity with these audiences, and/ or their ability to get to know these audiences on campus if they were unfamiliar with them. During this assignment, students and I decided the assignment needed modification. Students could either talk to the audience or about the audience. If students chose to talk about the selected audience, they must then state who the listening audience was. For example, if speaking about athletes, the listening audience might consist of school board members, teachers of student athletes, or parents of student athletes. 27
As required for the formal paper assignment, students had to present the paper orally to their peers, who would act as the intended audience for the assigned paper. Oral presentations took about two and half weeks to complete, and during this time, the ―oral workshop‖ was conducted. During this ―oral workshop,‖ speakers were able to converse with their audience after the oral presentation in order to make revisions that would be condusive to the focus of the paper and the intended audience. The day of the presentation, students were asked to complete journal four, or the reflection piece, which explored their intial reactions to the presentation. They were asked what was memorable, what they were most proud of, and what they would change about their presentation. After the oral workshop, they were required to complete journal five, or the reflection piece, which focused on what they would change based on the feedback of the audience. Notice, the church itself is not specifically referenced when describing the course or any of the classroom activities. Any and all instructors can adapt this approach with little to no familiarity or knowledge of the site of reference. Further, students were only briefly informed about my personal experiences that led to this project during the consenting process (this information is not located on the consent form either), and the theoretical framework was never discussed with students thereafter. Considering that students may not have religious affliations or have difficulty discussing one specific ethnic site or subject, I thought it was best not to push the framework for the project further with students throughout the course. In the following chapters, drafts and observations provided by students‘ perceptions suggested the oral workshop‘s ability to assist in students‘ revisions and heighten audience awareness. It will highlight how students‘ perceptions matched or deviated from what students produced textually. Thus, Chapter Four and Five analyzed the data set presented here in order to speculate the effectiveness of orality during workshopping and on the written text using two central questions for this study.
CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS—PART ONE
In Chapter Three, we discussed the course design for English Composition 1102, and the methodology used for the study. Now, using the data set provided, I focus on two central questions for empirical study. In Part One of these findings, I focused on workshopping. Looking at the five students individually, I noted student responses to the oral experience. Acknowledging that these participants might understand and respond to orality and the course differently, I later read across those responses to highlight any connections, similarities, and differences across students. In order to fully participate in the orally based workshop, students were required to engage in five activities, and the study required a sixth activity as followed: 1) Journal one (reflection)/ Richard Straub‘s ―Responding—Really—Responding—to Other Student‘s Writing‖ What was your experience with workshopping last term? Was it helpful? Why or why not? What would you change or expect from workshopping? What do you look for when you workshop a peer's paper? What steps do you take? The journal asked students about their prior experiences with workshopping, which I term the ―written workshop.‖ While reflecting on workshopping, students were assigned Richard Straub‘s text, which provided ways for students to workshop effectively by emphasizing strategies such as proving sufficient detail in their comments, as well as deciding how much to comment. Students were able then to evaluate how they workshop in relation to the article and possibly make use of his advice. 2) Draft one 3) Draft two: the oral workshop of paper two (Emergence of the Community Text) As figure 4.1 illustrates, students participated in a three- step oral workshop that adapted the model observed through the minister in the black church. Focusing on draft two, 1) the student/
speaker orally presented the paper; 2) their peers/audience commented while they presented; and then 3) the speaker and audience conversed about the comments.
Draft 2 1. Oral
2. Print Comments Responses from Audience, Read by Author
Figure 4.1: Print-Oral-Print by way of the oral workshop.
In this sense, the community text emerged out of the oral workshop, where both speaker and audience could in one setting participate in the construction/delivery of the text. And though call and response was moderated for a classroom setting (termed also as audience feedback throughout the course), ultimately, it did play a pivotal role in the sucess and assessment of the text as students returned to the print draft for revisions. During the oral workshop where the community text emerged, the boundaries between speaker and audience and written (composing of the text) and oral (delivery of the text) patterns, were blurred where speaker became audience, and audience became speaker all in one setting (Moss). 4) Journal five (reflection) After the oral workshop, students were asked to answer the following questions: Were the comments helpful? Why or why not? What might you change in your paper based on audience feedback? Why?
What was similar or different about the oral comments given by the audience and that of workshopping peers? In preparation, what did you consider in the preparation from print to oral? Are there any other comments on the experience of presenting the paper orally? 5) Draft three 6) Interview conducted with study participants Scheduled after the course, students were asked to reflect on their experiences with the oral workshop and the course.
How do students respond to an orally based workshop?
Connie In her first journal, Connie revealed that her senior year AP English class offered little workshopping. When done, it was helpful as long as students took the advice that was given in class to make the paper better. She does not write what was deemed beneficial to the improvement of the paper, but she goes on to say that as a workshopper, ―I look for the weakest points in the essay and the areas that could have been brought out more and given more details.‖ Moving forward into paper two, for an audience, Connie was given ―teachers.‖ For her topic, she discussed teacher appreciation and how teachers deserved recognition from their students. In the beginning of her oral presentation of draft two, it seemed her audience was in fact that which was assigned because she spoke directly to that audience. But as the presentation continued, it seemed in many instances she was not talking to teachers but about them, and her peers suggested that she might be talking to another audience: students. I had similar thoughts when she stated during her presentation: ―The teachers who teach us13 the vital details of growing up deserve at least an ounce of respect for what they teach us when we are children,‖ and ―Do you remember your teachers doing class projects, maybe dividing your class into groups or going outside to play some type of history game?‖ When her peers asked her who her audience was, it was evident that she was unsure, because she never once offered anything other 13
Italics used throughout the study are my additions to the text to highlight importance. 31
than teachers even when her peers suggested an alternative. Based on these factors—her use of direct address to non-teachers, ―us‖ as a pronoun, and examples that spoke to students—it became clear that she was not talking to teachers, but about teachers to an alternative audience: students. Given this confusion, I decided quickly to adjust the assignment for all students. Because I did not want Connie to change her topic (She had changed it once before), during her workshop, the class and I discussed an alternative approach to the assignment. If others had done as she did, based on the assignment, the student could either speak to that audience or about the audience. If the latter, the student then had to identify who the audience was. After this new development in the assignment, the class addressed Connie‘s audience and their unclear understanding of whom she was talking to. Connie expressed her understanding and even acknowledged this in her fifth journal about what she might change based on the audience feedback: ―I am going to try to make it more clear who my audience is versus who my topic is about.‖ As a community of participants, the class allowed her to see a concern that she might have otherwise dismissed on her own. Thus understanding the concerns of the class, Connie appeared willing to address it. In the interview after the course, we returned to the question of workshopping asked in the beginning of the course. We also addressed how the written oral workshops were different. When asked how she typically workshops, she shared additional information about her revising methods. When discussing how she reads and revises her own work, she stated: ―Usually I read a paragraph and if I see something wrong, I‘ll fix that and read it again,‖ looking for errors. The process seems to be a fragmented, start and stop mechanism where she cannot address the paper as a whole. She stated similar practices in how she helps or peer reviews other papers: ―I didn‘t really think of it [the paper] as a general view, I thought about it as an introduction, middle and end [in the written workshop] and like with the oral part [or the oral workshop]‖, the whole thing.‖ Again, she revises, or peer reviews other papers in segmented pieces, instead of reading a whole/complete paper. Connie‘s practices were very similar to the study offered by Sondra Perl in her article ―The Composing Processes of Unskilled Writers.‖ In this study ―editing intrudes so often‖ that it ―breaks down the rhythm generated by thinking and writing‖ and becomes nothing more than 32
exercise in ―error hunting‖ (38). In Perl‘s implications for teacher research she stated students ―conceive of writing as a cosmetic process where concern for correct form supersedes development of ideas. As a result, the excitement of composing, of constructing and discovering meaning, is cut off almost before it has begun‖ (38). We see that Connie used a very formulaic or fragmented approach to revision as she looked for the ―weakest points.‖ During her presentation, however, two things happened. First, by orally delivering the text, she was able to read her paper as a ―whole‖ from top to bottom without pause, something she claimed she rarely does for any paper. Second, the oral workshop with the assistance of the class (community of participants) helped her identify an issue— inconsistency with her audience—that might have been obvious had she read the paper intently with audience in mind.
Stephen In Stephen‘s first journal regarding his prior experience with workshopping, he stated that he would not change a thing in his former class, ENC 1101. He also affirmed that the experience helped him pay closer attention to his own writing. Reminiscing on his high school experience, he said the immediate feedback provided by workshopping in college was much more productive; ―I liked the fact that we got feedback on our paper right away, instead of in high school where it took days or weeks.‖ As a workshopper for others, Stephen wrote that he focuses a great deal on errors, ―looking for grammatical errors, spelling errors, typos,‖ reading over [the paper], trying to ―pick out the errors as I go along,‖ and ― telling them [peers] what I think of the paper and what should be added, or taken out.‖ His looking for errors seemed to be a product of his own comments; this he said in his own words came from ―the bleeding red pens‖ of his high school instructors, and therefore, influenced his own practices. Given the audience ―athletes‖ for paper two, Stephen chose to talk about a personal matter, his use of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH, a type of steroid) for a medical issue resulting from an underdeveloped pituitary gland that hindered his growth. During his oral presentation, students commented often on how he delivered the paper by suggesting that he speak clearly and express his thoughts better; this issue of delivery then conflated with the issue of his argument when students also stated that his argument was not clear in his text. In discussing HGH in relation to sports, it was unclear whether he was supporting or opposing 33
steroids. In some instances, it seemed that he was highlighting how great HGH was for the body, and then on other instances, showing how harmful they were to the athlete. As a class, the community of participants, we took the time to discuss his argument and better understood his intention—HGH should only be used for those with medical needs—and now Stephen had to make that evident in his paper, something he later attempted to do. In the interview, Stephen reiterated the comments made about his argument and the feedback of the audience. Stephen said he never considered audience and described what he usually does as ―only discuss[ing] the topic.‖ This oral experience was new to him. When asked about the feedback provided by his audience or peers, he believed the feedback from students was more ―brutal‖ than that of the teacher, so he wanted to be more prepared for his peers if he had to participate in another oral workshop. Because our textbooks, like Richard Straub‘s article, suggest that students only do the minimum during workshop and provide non-controversial comments such as ―good job‖ and ―nice paper,‖ I questioned the feedback provided by students and teachers. He stated ―Teachers are supposed to care,‖ and students are free to criticize, not necessarily concerned with what was best for the developing writer. In sum, Stephen was used to discussing a subject matter without taking a stance toward it, and he seemed unprepared for less inviting comments from peers. Both the assignment and oral workshop, however, required that he take a stance. Thus, listening to the speakers and participating in the oral workshop, he stated allowed him to not only look for errors, or grammar, but assess other aspects of writing—delivery and argument—offered by his community of peers.
Jessica Jessica‘s experience with workshopping was exactly as Richard Straub explains: lots of praise but very little help to the paper. She affirmed that the effectiveness of peer review depends on the one reading the paper. Most students, she stated, ―say enough [or comment enough] just to get the credit [or grade].‖ In other words, in her experience, students only participated in workshopping to say they completed the task, not to fully help the writer. During her presentation, given the audience ―students,‖ Jessica discussed the issue of campus organizations and if students are truly welcomed to join. Students in the class were not very responsive and gave little feedback. Jessica stated in a later journal regarding this feedback: ―As I looked around the room when other students were presenting, I noticed many students 34
weren‘t paying attention. I assumed that was why many of my responses only regurgitated what I said in my paper, not to make it better.‖ In her fifth journal, Jessica continually displayed her distaste in not receiving many comments from students. As Mikail Bahktin declares, Jessica as a speaker did ―not expect passive understanding that, so to speak, only duplicat[ed] [her] own idea in someone‘s mind. Rather, [she] expect[ed] response, agreement, sympathy, objection, execution, and so forth‖ (1233). And during her assessment of the audience feedback (or call and response) after the oral presentation, she seemed to conclude that her text was not successful, reflecting on how influential response is to the community text. After once again expressing her desire for more productive comments, Jessica (along with others in her interview14 session) discussed ways she received and gave comments during the written and oral workshop. During the written workshops, she focused predominantly on grammar, in contrast to the oral workshop where she focused on content. When asked why she paid less attention to the content during the written workshop, she asserted: I think there are too many distractions in a paper. I‘m reading a paper, and I‘m like this sentence is ridiculously long, like you‘ve got to be kidding me. Ha ha. And then I‘m looking at the next one, and these sentences don‘t even go together. Structure can really throw you off. Where were you going? It‘s like a big long block. It makes it really, really, hard to focus on just the content. I tried to just read it first, and not do it, but I can‘t. Ok, put the comma there…Ha ha. Jessica reflected on her difficulty to simply be a reader, unable to detach herself as a critic while reading a written text. While analyzing her personal experiences during the written workshop and shifting gears to oral activities, she seemed very comfortable. And as the term carried on, she seemed at ease with the idea of audience, ―thinking about language, who you are speaking to, and how to make it relatable.‖ However, in her interview, she also expressed her difficulty in the notion of audience in her efforts to let others in. She felt that the paper was no longer her own and disconnected from her written work: ―Before, it‘s just me. It‘s not me writing when others are involved. I did not feel a part of the audience.‖ This comment seemed to adhere to the model 14
As mentioned in chapter 3, there was one group interview; Jessica and Saisha were among those participants. 35
of writing offered by Linda Flowers, where students typically use strategies of the writer- based prose to fulfill the desire of writing for oneself as opposed to writing for others, a reader- based prose. Jessica felt disengaged from her work when she had to consider the readers and listeners, like they were writing the paper. The notion of the community text was overwhelming for her, particularly since she was a more expressive writer. Although Jessica found the oral workshop feedback disappointing in some degree, it did allow her to focus on content, not the ―comma‖ or the structured ―sentence.‖ It also shows what kind of writer she is. She is one that desires to write for self but when the audience is involved, such as with a community text, she also desires validation for her work (active response), possibly because it was a task in itself to include others. This is also addressed in how she reflected and while assessing why she did not receive feedback, which is similar to ministers during their assessment of the text via response. At one time, she blamed the lack of comments on the audience, (changing names, her non-attentive peers). Later she tried to see it as a positive; the audience understood. Then later, she stated maybe I could try to make it more interesting. These three options reflected too an uneasiness in considering audience, their needs, and her own vindication as a well received writer.
Saisha As an enthusiastic student, Saisha‘s experience with workshopping in ENC 1101 was described as ―great.‖ She enjoyed reading the papers and wishes that more time was given for it, for she found the limited time insufficient for productive responding. In her first journal, Saisha expressed a need for originality and voice. This is what she looks for in a paper: ―does it catch my attention, and if it does, does it keep me interested.‖ The "my" and "me" in the statement reveal that she sees herself as the audience, or a representative of that audience. Later, she stated her experience as a speaker in a reflection piece: ―I‘ve been speaking and performing in front of people for my entire life‖ (though she doesn‘t state the forum). This experience as a speaker and representative of audience was further evident in her confident demeanor with all oral activities in the course. Given the audience ―teachers‖ for her paper, Saisha took the authority of their colleague (thought of herself as apart of the intended audience) to ask teachers to think about how they engage their students in the classroom. Most of her peers/audience loved her tone and the 36
purpose of the paper. Other audience members suggested that though they understood who she was in the paper, the authority, she could not simply rely on her own opinions to persuade teachers to think about classroom engagement. So, students asked her to use more sources and statistics for the argument. Saisha stated that the difference between these experiences—performing and presenting a paper in other classes and that of this class—was the feedback provided through the ―oral workshop.‖ She stated her enjoyment with the ―oral workshop,‖ especially because she could hear the voice—tone, emotion, emphasis, pauses, and inflation from her peers. Unlike most of the participants, she wanted to do it again. Though beyond merely taking pleasure from it, she stated the feedback was helpful because ―I knew what my paper was missing and their [peers] comments reassured it,‖ particularly those comments asking for more credible sources. In the later interview, Saisha agreed with her peers about grammar and content when participating in the written versus oral workshop. More attentive in hearing the voice of the speaker, she stated she was able to really hear the message of the paper through the oral experience. Because of this attentiveness to voice she was more inclined to use her own, asking questions after the oral presentation. She also took advantage of asking her audience questions or rebutting comments of her peers. When she felt she explained something clearly, she discussed it at that moment with the audience. She even asked questions of her own for clarification if no audience member commented on a concern she felt should have been addressed during the oral workshop, a practice she did not engage in during the written workshop, and when asked why, she paused because she wasn‘t sure and still could not answer. Her comfort allowed her to completely engage with her audience and take full advantage of call and response as a rhetorical device, where speaker became audience and audience became speaker in one setting. Saisha welcomed the social process and utilized this idea of the community text. Based on her prior experiences as a speaker, I wonder if this is an influential factor in the utilization of the community text and call and response for our writers.
Jonathan In his first journal regarding his prior experience and what he looked for while workshopping, Jonathan was all about the central message. If the message was not a strong one, ―the reading is pointless.‖ He then goes on to talk about the importance of syntax and developing a professional 37
tone. A paper consumed by ―slang and jargon is obsolete, and no one would take the message seriously.‖ In a previous conference on paper one, Jonathan and I discussed how he could better transition between paragraphs and sentences and avoid redundancy. During his presentation regarding steroids taken by his audience ―athletes,‖ I observed and noted Jonathan on three occasions taking unexpected pauses and making slight giggles. Of course, nerves were at play, but when audience members discussed his redundant nature, he stated ―Yes, I realized I repeated myself,‖ an issue that led back to his previous paper. In his fifth journal, Jonathan saw the written workshop as more beneficial concerning content, unlike other participants in the study: I feel that the comments were different and based on performance rather than on the quality of the paper. I received many comments saying ‗good speaking voice‘ or ‗better eye contact with the audience.‘ I think that the difference between presenting orally and workshopping is the performance versus the content of the paper. He continued by writing: ―I feel that a speech can be written down amazingly, but presented awfully. A person who can speak very well can make a bad speech into an amazing announcement.‖ For Jonathan he saw the paper more like a speech and not a written text. Additionally, he felt the comments addressed not the spoken or written word or content, but appearance and delivery of the speaker. Though he found the written workshop more effective in tackling the word or text in the paper, he later suggested ways the two workshops could be beneficial while working differently. During many of his reflections, including the interviews, Jonathan used analogies and examples to state his opinion on the experience. A prime example would be that of the interview when I asked about the difference between the written and oral workshop: ―It‘s like this. It‘s like apples and oranges. Different flavors, but still fruits.‖ In the written workshop, he stated ―you are able to get the one-on-one experience‖ in contrast to that of the oral workshop where the writer is provided with many perspectives, ―a myriad of readers [or listeners].‖ He further made an interesting point about the benefits of these two approaches—written and oral workshops— when considering the intention of the writer/ speaker; ―when I first read it 38
[the paper], I got this kind of thing (perspective, or understanding], but when you read it [the paper] to me, I got a different kind of perspective, so where along that spectrum do you want the message to relay to the reader?‖ Jonathan suggested that the two workshops, working consecutively, could help the writer/ speaker find the medium where the intended message lies, [like a mathematician looking for the closest average or middle of two distant points; the two points being 1) interpreted by reading and 2) interpreted by listening]. The community text works quite differently for Jonathan. When speaking of the blurred relationship between written and oral patterns, Jonathan saw these lines distinctively aligned for each mode of communication. Oral patterns—delivery—were still fashioned for the oral workshop, and written patterns were fashioned for the written workshop. The community text then is more viable by definition and call and response more dialogic when the oral and written workshop fuctions consecutively and feedback from each workshop is offered simutaneously.
Summation For all students, their experience with the written workshop prior to this course was quite similar. They all described the written workshop as potentially beneficial. Two students further discussed some of the stimulations for a productive workshop. Connie expressed how the student had to take advantage of the advice or the instruction from the ―teacher,‖ while Jessica expressed how the ―student‖ had an overwhelming effect on how the workshop functioned. This attends to the matter of authority during the workshop; where one student sees authority lying on the teacher, and the other on the student. We see this relationship between teacher and student at odds with the effectiveness of workshopping. Referring to paper two, all students had different concerns regarding the improvement of their papers and different reasons and ways they had to adjust and revise to make their papers better. For some, there were more structural and grammatical concerns; while for others, it was a matter of identifying and communicating with the audience. Two students in particular, Connie and Stephen, found difficulty in understanding audience (who the audience was, and what should be said), and Jessica simply did not like the presence of audience and felt lost by it. Audience was a new consideration for students as they wrote. Stephen, in particular was used to writing on
topics. Moreover, due to Connie‘s difficulty and the necessary modification to the assignment, the way that audience was introduced might have limited the writer15. Leading into the oral workshop, I asked students to view writing as a social process, and students displayed some resistance to this request. Jessica and Jonathan conveyed a desire for more personal writing, one that did not include others as offered by the community text. Jessica felt the paper was no longer her own work and found it a challenge to consider the views of others. Jonathan felt that in some ways, the oral workshop was not geared to formal writing, but performance. This resistance seems to stem from their prior experience, what they have been taught about writing. For them, writing was taught as a personal experience that the writer shares internally with his/her text alone, and good writing is a reflection of words alone. Additionally, students also responded to the oral workshop differently. For Saisha, the oral workshop was a comfortable space where she took advantage of conversing with her audience (call and response). For Jessica, few comments were offered, and it left her disappointed with her peers and possibly the text because it seems she correlated the lack of comments/response with the success of the text. For others, like Stephen, delivery took center stage as he tried to make his point. Amidst these differences and the array of concerns the oral workshop tackled, I will pose some of the general benefits of the new workshop: 1) students, as writers and audience, were free to critique the text as a purposeful whole as Connie was able to do. I consistently asked my students to read the text aloud, exactly as it is written. And as much as I said this, few students actually responded. Jonathan, his pauses and his realization of redundancy in the midst of his presentation, was a great example of how the oral workshop forces students to conceive of their papers as a whole, catching minor issues that could be easily revised. 2) I also suggested that students read their peer‘s entire paper first before they attempt to revise, but as Jessica noted, this could prove difficult when the overwhelming urge was (and still is) to fix structural issue. The oral workshop enabled both the reader and listener to hear the whole text before he/she makes certain judgments. Some students were less distracted, as Jessica stated, by the visual arrangement and mechanics and more attuned to the arrangement of ideas for that specific
Her confusion may present a flaw as to how I presented and explained the paper to students. 40
audience. However, others were more distracted by delivery during the oral workshop as Jonathan was. In considering how the ―written workshop‖ and ―oral workshop‖ functioned and how they were different or similar, four students noted that both written and oral workshops were useful, Connie, though not directly, spoke of allowing the writer /speaker to receive comments from the part/ whole binary. Saisha and Jessica spoke adamantly of the collaboration of the two workshops to address the grammar/content binary. This was quite fascinating because the two had contrasting experiences with the oral workshop and the emergence of the community text, yet they saw the workshops having similar effects. Lastly, Jonathan saw it working in two ways. For him, it was content/written versus delivery/oral issue, and he valued the written workshop over the oral workshop. He later stated in the interview that the collaboration of the two workshops would help the author and audience negotiate (applying call and response) ways to make the print the intended text by allowing the reader to analyze the written text in comparison to what the listener gains from the oral text. This is done through assessment aimed for revision. Based on student‘s perceptions, difference mattered, and the distinctions of both oral and print were beneficial for writing. When provided comments, all students expressed an understanding of the audience feedback. They also stated how they would return to the paper and revise using what was gained from the community of particpants. In the following chapter, Part Two of the findings, I explore how students used the oral workshop and audience feedback as they moved back to the print text.
CHAPTER 5 FINDINGS—PART TWO
This chapter (Part Two of the findings) draws attention to the text, paper two, more closely and the revisions students made before and after the oral experience as figure 4.2 displays. What revisions did students make, if any, based on the oral experience by applying the notions of community text and call and response? Looking more specifically at the second draft of paper two in relation to the third draft of paper two, did students use rhetorical strategies such as personal anecdotes, examples specific to that audience, collective pronouns and direct address to establish a sense of community and speak to an audience? What kind of additions, deletions, and modifications did students make in their revision?
5.1 What impact does an oral- oriented workshop activity have on students’ sensitivity to audience?
Draf t 1
Draf t 3
Draf t 2
Oral Experience 1. Oral
2. Print Comments Responses from Audience, Read by Author
Figure 5.1: Before and After the Oral Experience 42
Connie As mentioned in the previous section about the ―oral workshop, Connie, given ―teachers‖ as an audience, chose as her topic ―Teacher Appreciation.‖ She expressed why teachers deserve more recognition from their students. In draft two after stating who her audience (teachers) was to an audience of her peers at the beginning of her presentation, she began with a quote: ―A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.‖ And she then used a nice synopsis to highlight how times have changed for teachers using language that reflects common knowledge amongst both teachers and the students they teach: Unfortunately, these are not the days of welcoming apples on teacher‘s desks from caring students. No longer are these the times of the little red house sitting on top of the hill, while Mrs. Lovely sits inside waiting for her wonderful students to come in, always on time. Her peers could still identify themselves as the desired audience, teachers, but then a shift occurred in her final sentence of the opening paragraph when she stated: ―they [students] should do more to show the appreciation to their teachers.‖ Though the term ―they‖ is used to reflect distance from the audience, the statements thereafter are directed to another audience. In the following pages, she used the first person plural pronouns to collectively identify her participation with the audience as a student or child: ―The teachers who teach us the vital details of growing up deserve at least an ounce of respect for what they teach us when we are children.‖ And then she further used direct address in her concluding paragraph in contrast to the audience of the 1st paragraph: ―Who taught you how to tie your shoes? To ride your bike? Or maybe even to type on a keyboard... So take time to appreciate those who have taught you.‖ As noted in the oral workshop, Connie changed her audience to students during the presentation of draft two. Throughout the paper, she provides examples conducive to a student population and examples from previous experiences with teachers. In one example, she recollected a first grade experience: My class and our neighboring room got together and made green eggs and ham- it was an educational process as we read the Dr. Seuss book Do You Like Green Eggs and Ham?...This example shows us that teachers think about more than just getting the information out to children. They [teachers] actually try to think of 43
ways to get the information to stick inside a child‘s mind, for them to remember exactly what they were learning when they were doing the hands-on activity. There were two other examples. One example stemmed from teachers taking the additional steps to challenge students, those that in fact allowed her to skip to the next grade in her 6th grade year of school. The other example talks of a teacher‘s welcoming hand to get students involved in community programs which paved the way for her friend‘s future in a symphony. These examples demonstrated the writer‘s intention to persuade the audience, ―students,‖ to be more appreciative of well deserved teachers: ―Yes, we have teacher appreciation…but should we cram all of our thank yous into one week?‖ Connie is using language and examples relative to the audience she was speaking to, students, not the audience she was first assigned. Looking at draft three, slight additions occurred in considering audience, though she acknowledges the concerns her audience feedback offered during the oral workshop. Of the changes found in the beginning, she attempted to identify her audience more clearly, changing from ―teachers out there in our everyday lives do more than just teach‖ in draft two to ―you, teachers out there in our everyday lives do more than just teach‖ in draft three. The insertion, or rather modification by adding the pronoun ―you,‖ or direct address occurred two other times in the same paragraph. In draft two, we see But sometimes the time and effort that they [teachers] put into their job may go unnoticed. Sometimes it may seem overlooked as a part of what their job requires you to do, something that they are getting paid for…Instead, they [students] should do more to show the appreciation that their teachers who are actually doing the right thing: giving the gift of learning. In draft three, we see But sometimes the time and effort that you put into your job may go unnoticed. Sometimes it may seem overlooked as a part of what your job requires you to do, something that you are getting paid for…Instead, they should do more to show the appreciation that their teachers, you ladies and gentlemen that sit before me hearing my message, are actually doing the right thing: giving the gift of learning. In the draft three, she attempted to more clearly identify her audience by placing them in the room with her—―you ladies and gentlemen that sit before me hearing my message.‖ And though 44
she does make some grammatical revision, no other revisions occurred thereafter as it relates to audience. Connie‘s paper still reflected that she is talking to an additional audience, students, throughout because as mentioned, nothing changed after the first paragraph. Thinking back to Connie‘s statement about the way she revises—―Usually I read a paragraph and if I see something wrong, I‘ll fix that and read it again‖ and ―I thought about it as an introduction, middle and end‖—it appeared that this notion did not change after the oral presentation evident by her only modifying the beginning, and figuring that the rest would come together.
Stephen Stephen chose to use a PowerPoint for his oral presentation. In this presentation, he highlighted important points and definitions regarding the use of steroids, specifically the use of HGH among ―athletes.‖ In this sense because of the typical layout of a PowerPoint presentation, there were significant changes from that of draft two or the bullet point presentation and draft three but not necessarily significant in regard to the persuasion of his audience. The changes that occurred in draft three suggest some audience awareness. Using the direct address to identify his audience, he did speak to athletes: ―Go to a fitness store and talk to the sales clerk about what you should be taking as you work out‖ and ―Why would you want to take a drug to help you improve your game while risking the chance that you will not be able to play with your new cheated power?‖ He was in fact speaking to athletes or physically active persons. Examples are specific to that audience when discussing the consequences of using the drug HGH, but there are also statements of contradiction that persuade the audience in one direction and then to another. During his ―oral workshop,‖ Stephen‘s paper was discussed. It was unclear whether he was condoning or opposing the use of HGH. Stephen expressed his understanding of this concern: taking a stance. Acknowledging how HGH helped him medically and personally, he had a difficult time telling his audience what to do. In an example where he used a professional athlete as an example, he wrote ―Andy Pettite might have thought what he was doing [taking HGH] was legal but it was not. By taking these drugs, he could have got stronger, faster, and does not have to worry about losing his strength if he stopped taking it.‖ Dismissing for the moment the structural and grammatical concerns of the sentence, I focused on the contradiction embedded in the 45
statement. At first Stephen stated the unlawful use of HGH, but then highlighted how helpful the drug would be if Pettite continued to use it. This does not persuade a reader to stop, but invites them to risk the chance by continuing. Additionally, he makes other contradictions of the sort: If athletes looked at the side effects of steroids, it says there is a ―possibility of damaging muscles. Athletes take steroids to get stronger and faster, but then run the risk of hurting their muscles all together so they cannot get any stronger… The side effects on any drug you take are rare, but I can say with the twelve years I have taken HGH I never had any of them. Again, he stated the risks of taking the steroids and then placed HGH in another category where side effects are no longer an issue of concern. Some instances, it even seemed that he was demonstrating the effectiveness of the drug to his audience: ―HGH is the perfect performance enhancer to use in the sense that it is hard to detect who is using it, and can only be detected through blood tests right now.‖ There are only a few times where the intended purpose is clear—―Steroids and HGH should be left to medical needs and not sport‘s enhancement‖—but Stephen was not able to speak to that audience effectively in conveying his point clearly. By showing how effective the drug was for medical purposes might not be the best way to get athletes to discontinue use, especially when using language and examples conducive to his audience (athletes) against his argument, for instance, the discussion of urine detection, side effects, and muscle enhancement. In other words, using examples and concerns of his audience to not persuade against use, but demonstrate the benefits of its use. Unfortunately, the oral experience only helped him come up with and talk about the topic, something he stated he is used to doing by providing the pros and cons of the drug (like a report or PowerPoint presentation).
Jessica Unlike the other participants of this study, Jessica narrowed down her audience, ―students,‖ strategically to Florida State University‘s campus organizations, specifically presidents of those campus organizations and clubs. Unlike some of her peers, in draft two, she decided not to use the pronoun ―you‖ as a way to talk to her audience, but she did use collective pronouns to assert a need for good persons of leadership: ―Though all of us in college are young adults, capable of 46
and responsible for ourselves, that does not mean we will never need any guidance.‖ She also identified her audience clearly: ―It is the president of an organization‘s responsibility to ensure all participants are included, especially after declaring they are welcome.‖ And she even identified what the opposing party of that audience might resemble: ―Considering opposition, it could be argued that people interested in these clubs should make an effort to be more involved,‖ considering that some leaders may place the blame on prospective students and their unwillingness to get involved. She did not have to use the direct address by way of ―you‖ to establish the intended audience. Instead, she addressed the audience directly, spoke to opposing members of that audience, and placed herself as an understanding participant among the audience, demonstrating her awareness with audience. In addition to identifying her audience, she provided three specific examples from that of a cultural club (Haitian club and the language barrier): The event was open to all interested students; many old and new faces filled the auditorium with the majority population united through a Haitian background. Throughout the meeting many jokes were made in English and in Haitian Kreyòl (a language of Haiti). Only part of the auditorium was laughing at the comments made in Kreyòl; obviously, not everyone in the auditorium spoke and understood the language. People who were not of Haitian descent and had never been exposed to the language at all were even more excluded; a sport‘s club (tennis and member‘s ability to play versus the desire to learn): A sophomore on the team at one point claimed that she understand why one person on the team would completely ignore another because they felt they were a better tennis player. She said ―Sometimes I don‘t feel like hitting with people who aren‘t as good as me either.‖ How welcome is a new tennis player going to feel if he or she is going to be ignored because he or she does not have experience; and a social club (modeling): She had very little knowledge of the modeling field, but she joined a modeling club on campus, because she thought it would be a fun experience. In the beginning, she could recall a few people introducing themselves. Felicia said, ―After that, I pretty much sat by myself quietly every meeting for the rest of the 47
year.‖ Her sophomore year, she was still interested in modeling, but decided not to return to the club she had initially joined and to look for something different. All examples are used to show how organizations, of any kind, can create a more welcoming environment for prospective members by ―having some sort of activity or program available to better introduce new members.‖ And for those clubs ―that are, or wishes to be, solely for those students experienced or familiar with their purpose,‖ these clubs ―should designate exactly what students they want to join.‖ Jessica took the initiative to speak on her own experience with clubs. She also interviewed the president of the Haitian club and other students of various clubs, and still she received minimal comments during the oral workshop. In draft three, minimal changes occurred regarding audience. Jessica made structural revision or modifications, such as moving paragraphs around, deleted and rephrased sentences. Of the revisions she did make concerning auidence, she shifted from first describing in her opening paragraph of draft two a particular Haitian cultural club in detail, one she is familiar with: Within the first few weeks of this fall semester at Florida State University, the Haitian Cultural Club held its first general body meeting in Moore Auditorium. The event was open to all interested students; many old and new faces filled the auditorium with the majority population united through a Haitian background In draft three she began with a more general view of clubs available in draft three: Florida State University has numerous programs for students to join in order to start getting involved in their school, meeting people with similar interests, and making new friends.[..]They may be created simply to unite students of a similar background like the Haitian Cultural Club or the Caribbean Students Association. They can be formed to play sports, like flag football or Tennis Club. Clubs can also be made to encourage students […] Students join clubs for various reasons whether they are for personal interest or helping to reach goals. Joining clubs that promote volunteering, for example, could be […]. Other students, however, might simply want to make their résumé look better. Some people have a passion for […]. It might even be interesting for
some people to join a culture-based club just to learn something they never knew before and to explore diversity. Within the first few weeks of this fall semester at Florida State, the Haitian Cultural Club held its first general body meeting in Moore Auditorium. The event was open to all interested […]. Exactly how welcome [...]. She decided to speak for all organizations first, showed why students join and then presented her example of the Haitian club before she posed the question: ―Exactly how welcome are students who join any organization in which they are less informed of the club‘s purpose?‖ Though fewer revisions occurred between drafts, audience awareness, language and examples were evident in her paper in draft two, it seemed that she was able to identify and speak to her audience before she stepped to the podium, and she was able to use examples specific to her audience.
Saisha Even in her second draft, Saisha exhibited awareness of her audience, ―teachers,‖ as she spoke about ways teachers should instruct and engage their classrooms. Using examples and language condusive to her audience in her introductory paragraph, she spoke: Another long day of work approaches. There are books to teach on, papers to grade, and more work to hand out. You notice Jimmie is in the back sleeping; Sally wants to text; and Jonathan and Benjamin are throwing spit balls in the back of their peers‘ heads. What are you to do? Is it the topic that is boring? Maybe. Is it me, you ask yourself? That can be a possibility. There is a good chance that it could be your engagement in the classroom. Well. Have you tried engaging your students in the class? That could be a big help. Do you have class activities that require the students to participate? Do your methods of teaching assess the needs of all types of learners: visual, auditory, and hands-on? Saisha is aware of her audience, and still, changes (additions) occurred from her second to third draft. The first of these is noted toward the beginning of her paper when she added the following paragraph in the draft three to ask teachers to think back to their prior experiences as students and what they desired in the classroom:
Many of you may remember those classes that you absolutely dreaded attending. Often times these classes would be those that were just flat out boring beyond reason, and no matter what you tried to do to entertain yourself, nothing worked. You would end up falling asleep, wondering off into a nice day-dream, or even turn to a little misbehaving. Just stop to think, what did you really want that particular class to be like? Imagine if the teacher gave you something to be excited about; how much more do you think you would get out of that class instead of a good nap? Now take that answer and apply it to what you do in your classes. In this statement, she asked her audience from the very start to place themselves in their student‘s shoes, as she has placed herself in her audience‘s shoes for the purpose of this paper. Using direct address, she spoke directly to her audience and does this throughout the paper. Regarding her oral workshop, peers claimed she relied on her own opinions to speak to her audience such as ―getting the students involved in activities that correspond to what they are supposed to be learning really helps them grasp the concept of whatever is being taught,‖ and ―a good introduction makes the learning process a little more engaging.‖ Applying the audience feedback, she not only provided her own opinions, but she also used sources, such as quotes, personal interviews from other teachers and students support those opinions or claims. She provided situations that her audience could relate to when stating the effectiveness of creative and innovative techniques. For example, while discussing the benefits of ―catchy tunes,‖ she referred to the alphabet in text draft two: ―Just look at the alphabet, if that was not taught as a song, how many people do you think would actually be able to recite the alphabet as well as they do?‖ And then later added and concluded this point in text draft three by quoting a student that uses tunes to help him remember information: ―Using catchy tunes has been an overall great help when it comes to remembering material. I use them to help me when I actually study for tests and find that the information comes to me much quicker than it would if I did not use them.‖ A similar revision occurred when discussing visual learners and how a teacher might start the class. She stated in the second draft, ―Starting the class off with these [visual] clips will increase the student‘s attention spans.‖ An opinion, a point made from a student‘s point of view,
but she added in the third draft observations from a teacher‘s point of view when using a similar technique: I like to use clickers, index cards, sort writing, and student demonstrations to get students involved. I like to start the class with a little movie clip and some music to get started. I look around and see that my students really enjoy the effort that I put in engaging them. As an audience-oriented change, this was important because she not only considered the needs of teachers and how their students would respond to these techniques, but provided an example where teachers, too, took the advice and applied it. Saisha used the oral workshop to her advantage. Evident by her concluding paragraph, she made a statement that solely demonstrated how she revised the paper based on audience feedback: ―They [these engaging methods] have been proven and effective and should really be considered when planning lessons for the curriculum.‖ This statement spoke directly to her audience, and she added it after the oral workshop, inserting credible examples that were in fact proven to be effective by incorporating the experiences of both teachers and students in their respective classrooms.
Jonathan In his opening paragraph of draft two, Jonathan spoke A young man, named Jake, who is eighteen years old, played football all his life. He was a quarterback of his high school football team and later went on to the national championship. From doing that, he was awarded a scholarship to play football at UCLA. He was given a chance of a lifetime to study at a major institution and play for a well accredited football team; yet, when he was randomly drug tested by his school, they discovered Jake used Anabolic Steroids… As a result, he was kicked of his high school football and later lost his scholarship at UCLA. In this brief anecdote, he told the story of a prospective college football player and how steroids destroyed his future. Using a practical example and one that would bring fear to any athlete‘s career and their dreams, he acknowledges his audience immediately: athletes, but more specific
to the above excerpt student athletes. And later he uses another example, found at the end of his paper, of a professional athlete that which most student athletes aspire to be. Jonathan continues by describing how steroids affect the body in general: irritability may lead to domestic violence, and tumors and blood clots may lead to further health complications, hormonal imbalance, before he shifts back to the athletes specifically, ―the use of this drug causes even more mayhem among athletes.‖ Of the revisions made from draft two to draft three, more text was lost than gained. Jonathan made many deletions throughout his paper. Three deletions were based on one concern in particular in his ―oral workshop‖: his own realization of redundancy as he read his paper a loud. Though his revisions do no tackle every redundant phrase, it does attempt to resolve and condense a few such as this one. In the second draft, we see Many people hear about the endless use of anabolic steroids in sports. Athletes always try to find the easier ways of becoming better at sports by any means necessary; even if it dangers their life. Steroids have major impacts of the body and mind. ―Steroids can… (―Anabolic Steroids‖). The use of this drug is harmful at any age. It can cause irritability… In the third draft, we see Many people hear about the endless use of anabolic steroids in sports. Athletes always try to find the easier ways of becoming better. But steroids can hurt you. My advice is, do not do it. Athletes are only hurting themselves when they take this drug. ―Steroids can… (―Anabolic Steroids‖). While attempting to alleviate the redundancy, two new things occurred. Jonathan turned to direct address to speak to his audience and then tried to clearly state his argument before providing ways steroids affect the body. He continues to use direct address more in the third draft: ―Your body will not produce the right hormone,‖ and in three other occasions, he uses imperative voice: ―Make the smart decision.‖ In another instance, Jonathan shifted to direct address again in regard to his audience. He revised from ―For the teenage athlete, including the basketball players, the use of the steroids can destroy a career‖ in draft two to ―If you are taking steroids, you are risking your career as an athlete‖ in draft three. Though the use of ―you‖ was problematic in a formal text, it did seem that 52
Jonathan felt he had identified his audience in the beginning and no longer needed to announce it specifically, and the audience was aware of whom he was speaking to. In other deletions, some were specific to his audience. When discussing steroid use of his prime example, Barry Bonds, in draft two, he spent a significant portion of the paper talking about the media‘s involvement. The media, he declared, wanted to know the truth: ―the media continued to drag the story on, forever, never wanting to let him alone‖ and ―many people began to wonder whether or not Barry Bonds ever used any steroids from his personal trainer. The question stayed on the minds of many, and they wanted answers.‖ In draft three, these statements and similar statements are eliminated, leaving only those that spoke to the purpose of the text, the consequences of using steroids and reasons why athletes should avoid them. In considering the audience, Jonathan made one other change; he inserted subtitles to help him talk to the audience: ―But I‘m a woman, how can it affect me?‖ ―Well, what happens if I were to get caught?‖ ―What about addiction?‖ Though this can be seen as an easy contribution to the text, it not only discussed the concerns of the athlete, but it also helped him revise paragraphs that spoke on two or three topics at time by using the subtitles as a marker for transitioning. Unlike the other participants, Jonathan made deletions. Based on the oral workshop, he also attempted to avoid redundancy, an issue that continued on from the previous paper. Unfortunately, the oral workshop was not able to do more than tackle mainly surface areas such as redundancy that was in fact distracting in terms of delivery as Joathan notes during his reflection.
Summation This resistance, which I speak of in the prior section about workshopping, seemed to also play a role in the revisions that followed. Students appeared unwilling to let go of prior experiences and practices. Two especially, Connie and Stephen expressed an understanding of the audience feedback, but found difficulty applying it, relying on what they were used to doing—fragmented approach to writing and writing all tasks as the genre of report. We see there is a difference between understanding what needs to be done (discussed in part one of the findings) and actually implementing it (shown in part two of the findings). Are students ready to not only listen and understand, but change what they have grown to know, or is it they do not know how? 53
Understanding, of course, is the first step and a difficult task. Now we might need to consider how we move students from understanding, particularly the benefits of the community text and call and response, to implementing. As demonstrated, some of the revisions in the text were minimal from draft two to three. Revisions were made, but little had to do with audience. Those who had trouble with audience resorted to grammatical and structural revisions, again testifying to what students deemed valuable in a formal text based on their prior experience of ―looking [and correcting] error‖: using old strategies to solve new problems with audience—neglecting the social process. Admittedly, the ―oral workshop‖ benefited some students more than others. It would be naïve to think that every student would exhibit drastic changes—additions, deletions, and modifications—in their drafts from experiences of one semester. For instance we might consider underlying issues such as personal resistance to revise or the lack of audience participation or contribution in the call and response activity, or delivery limitations. However, it could be argued that the oral experience, the oral presentation, and the expectation of audience response, assisted students in their rhetorical decisions as they thought about their audience and spoke to their peers and community. I say this because whether these decisions were made before the second draft or after, for the most part, students displayed evidence in their drafts—demonstrated by discourse markers— of sensitivity to audience. It was also interesting that in all cases participants chose anecdotes and examples for their opening paragraphs in order to grab the reader or listener‘s attention. This was a development that I had not expected. In my experience, students most often use generic openers—for example ―Since the beginning of time…‖—to start their papers, and I usually had to suggest they get to the point. This did not occur in these texts, for example, in Connie‘s idealization of past teacher appreciation (Mrs Lovely in her little red house) contrasted to the need for recognition today. Similarly, Saisha‘s paper provided a visual description of a disengaged classroom (sleeping Jimmie and texting Sally) in order to persuade teachers of beneficial engaging techniques. I then wonder how much of these narrative openers had to do with students speaking to their audience and not on a topic. In all cases, students used these openers to immediately promote a sense of community through shared knowledge and familiar schemas.
Furthermore, students were asked to speak to an audience, while trying to overcome other textual considerations discussed in the course, like grammar, redundancy, structure, etc. The community text not only allowed the class to address the issue of audience, but also tackled other textual matters of the paper. In Chapter Six, I offer changes that can be made to the study, questions to further consider, and ways to continue the conversation of orality.
CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION
When students sit down to write, some never see the paper existing beyond the walls of the classroom because for them there is only one audience, the teacher. Once the class or the assignment ends, some see the paper coming to an end as well. Like the minister, I want students to envision a paper that can literally speak to an audience. This was what the thesis addressed: how orality as observed in the black church can benefit the writing student. In Chapter One, as a theoretical framework, I highlighted the black church as a literacy event, the sermon as a community text, and ―call and response‖ as rhetorical device that can be used to help students visualize their audience even when not in view. Focusing on two central questions concerning the introduction of the oral workshop, Chapter Two attended to the prior research done on the study of audience in the composition classroom in order to showcase how this study might be different. Chapter Three described the methodology used for this study and English Composition course design. Chapter Four and Five provided the reflections and texts of five students: How did students respond to the oral experience? How did their writing improve? Were there any connections, similarities, or differences amongst these students as they took on the new experience of the oral workshop? Chapter Six addresses three areas. First, I will provide the possible modifications for the course and study while highlighting some answers and limitations of the findings. Second, this chapter explains unexpected findings. Third, I explore how this study might continue and what this study might mean for the future as we continue to study orality in the composition classroom. Looking at figure 6.1, student and the minister begin the composing process very much the same, at a desk, or in a space where they can write. To make the paper as purposeful as possible, I encourage them to envision a text that has oral possibilities. What I attempt to do is lead students to think about their audience while composing surrounded by a community of participants helping to construct the text. 56
Figure 6.1: Audience Sensitivity. Allen Chapel AME Church, Live Oak, Fl. Rev. Raynetta Pandley, Pastor and members.
For the minister, orality is the product, whereas for the student, orality is the process that allowed them to return to their desks and transition back to print. Unlike the model described in figure 6.1, the course is an adapted model for students to utilize the idea of the community text. The community text asks them to trust each other, listen to each other, and though everyone is a part of the construction of the text, take authority over their work as the primary author. Jessica needed to see that while she was not the only author as demonstrated by the community text, she was the primary author. Jessica had to negotiate the realization of audience without losing herself in the process, which can be a difficult task for students to face when transitioning from ―writerbased prose‖ to ―reader- based prose.‖
Some may argue and still say that as the teacher, I am still the student‘s primary audience, because they are basing their realization of audience on what they believe will satisfy expectations for acknowledging audience. This may be true; however, we might consider that some writers do much of the same thing when trying to gage and satisfy their larger audience. Like figure 6.1, I might be an additional audience member surrounding the desk, looking over the author‘s shoulders. In this design, I hope not to be such a predominate influence lurking so closely to the desks of students, but among other participants participating in the process. It may be that I am asking students to take on a multiple task, one that satisfies the class and a larger audience.
This was a new experience for both the students and me. This was the first time I implemented a course such as this, so there were definitely changes that occurred throughout the course. Of those pertaining to the data set provided for the study, there was one major change: the assignment criteria of paper two. I needed to better address the criteria of the paper to try to avoid some of the issues found in this study, like Connie‘s desire to fulfill the assignment, rather than make the assignment her own. Maybe, she did not understand that the audience could change, and that the ultimate goal was not so much to adhere to the audience assigned, but to understand whom she was speaking to. When developing another course, I would implement four modifications in order to help students further make use of orality in their writing. First, I would suggest that students strategically narrow down the audience as Jessica did. Though I attempted to provide students with audiences they had familiarity with such as students, teachers, and athletes, I wonder if those students‘ assigned ―students‖ as an audience had an advantage in the course, since when they looked into the crowd they saw students and could immediately relate to them as audience. If in the case of Connie who found it difficult to speak to teachers, we might consider this disadvantage. For instance, when asked to speak to teachers, the faces she saw were that of students in the audience. Additionally, by narrowing down her audience, I hope that Jessica saw the possible avenue available. Of all the participants, I can see her paper moving beyond the classroom, targeted to 58
her audience of choice (understanding who she is as the speaker/writer and her relationship with the intended audience) and possibly making an impact on the organizations in which she speaks. It is also important to consider that the audience I asked students to speak to was particularly homogeneous in terms of peers and in terms of the suggested audience assigned. In the church, the audience is consistent in terms of community, but there are multiple audiences embedded in the site such as the well educated or less educated, children, ministers, etc. Because audience is such a difficult realization for first year writers, I would continue to introduce audience to students in this monolithic or homogeneous way as student‘s (especially those who make up an homogeneous classroom) first step to thinking about complex audiences and complex or dynamic communities. Second, concerning the oral presentation, I allowed students to present in any form of their choosing. One of the participants chose the PowerPoint. Is it possible that the genre of the PowerPoint assisted Stephen in continuing in his report-like scheme? I would ask all students to present the text in the same way--reading a completed text aloud—to avoid the possible limitation of the PowerPoint as well as to benefit the empirical study by having controlled data sets in order to track the changes between drafts. Additionally, I might rethink the first paper where I asked students to imagine an audience and write to it. I believe students had difficulty interpreting between a speech and a paper because of a) what Jonathan expressed about the oral workshop‘s emphasis on only performance and b) the majority of student‘s over reliance on direct address to solve their problems in their third draft. Because of these two points, it seems that some students viewed the second paper as a speech, instead of a paper taking oral form like a scholarly conference paper. Third, I might provide questions to guide the audience so it addresses both delivery and the message of the speaker during the oral workshop. Though performance is a prevalent part of orality, the text should not be lost, or so disguised by the issue of performance that students assume a good presentation warrants a good paper, or vice versa, that a bad presentation warrants a bad paper. Admittedly, in the church setting, ministers can fall under this schema (the performance can outweigh the message if one does not listen closely); hopefully in the classroom setting, this can be avoided by structuring questions that equally discusses both the message and
delivery throughout the presentation. Though, I am also hesitant for this might put limitations on the audience feedback if I do not structure the questions accordingly. Fourth, considering another course, I would try to incorporate a second or multiple oral workshops in collaboration with the written workshop, and hopefully this constant shifting between writer and speaker would capitalize on the binaries of written and oral discourses— written/oral, reader/listener, part/whole, grammar/content (though I would have to consider how timely such as enterprise would be)—by allowing students to more easily recognize changes/ revisions that are needed in their written texts. Thus, workshopping was very important to process writing and the implementation of orality. Additionally, multiple workshops would promte the notion of the community text. In the church forum, as I mentioned in Chapter One, the church was a community that I indeed felt apart of because of the experiences I continuely engaged in while growing up. I believe, too, the multiple oral workshops would further establish a sense of community as they repeatly engage in the experience together and learn to trust not only the oral workshop, but their peers‘ responses. When students begin to trust the feedback of the audience and envision the classrom as a shared community, then the idea of community text can be more apparent in the classroom. In reference to the study, there would be one major change. Certainly, reflection was a major part of the study, and though I do not clearly identify it as such, I would definitely require more detailed process memos from students. The interview especially would be modified. As mentioned in Chapter Three, there were convenience interviews (three individual interviews and a group interview of two participants). Instead of saying I would either interview students individually or in groups, I find it more beneficial if both are done. I would first interview students individually, and then ask students to come in as a group. This way, I could track if responses change. In one way the group interview could be beneficial and allow the students to feed off each other like a domino effect, where one student‘s comments facilitate larger conversation (something I observed during the oral workshop). It might assist students in reflecting and considering the course in ways they might not have. Reversely, the negative attribute of only using the group interview is that some students may only acknowledge what their peers say, and they may be less likely to bring something new to the conversation; this is a fact that acknowledges the need for the individual interview as well. 60
Unexpected Developments Notably, when the idea of audience became overwhelming for students, I found students were reluctant to let go of prior experiences. For Connie, Stephen, and Jonathan, good writing was solely based on structural correctness, and this right versus wrong mentality could possibly be the result of their previous writing experiences, as was the case with Stephen and his high school instructor. If no other revisions occurred based on audience, students returned to surface level revisions by looking for errors. Additionally, I did not expect student‘s writing to radically change in one course or assignment; however, I expected those changes based on the audience feedback, or call and response. I was surprised to see that students had acknowledged the feedback of their audience, or classmates, but had not resolved those same concerns in their text. This then led me to think there might be a difference between understanding versus implementing, especially when students are so reluctant to give up their prior practices, either because they do not want to, or do not know how. Possibly their conceptions of writing—prior knowledge—affects their ability to make changes. Of course, this study brought additional questions throughout the term. I was surprised when Jessica stated in the interview that she was uncomfortable with the idea of audience when she actually seemed cat ease during the course. Even though research confirms that most students feel this way about audience awareness, based on her actions I was still perplexed by this finding. This experience further demonstrates how much students could be hiding from their teachers and how much more can be gained from teacher research when we ask students about their writing experiences. The last unexpected development was that of creative composing: How might I relate creative composing as an oral activity back to the written formal text? One element of the course that I did not report in this study was the possibility of creative composing. In the following pages, I will briefly highlight, particularly on the sitcom assigned during the term, the instructional possibilities I observed from the project. Students were asked to compose and present three small oral presentations: an advertisement, a newscast, and a sitcom. For each, they had to consider their audience and the context. Though the other two creative assignments—the advertisement and the newscast—were other genres of 61
persuasion for an audience, I found the sitcom to be more insightful way of making the unfamiliar familiar (Morrison) for students as they composed their more formal written texts. After deciding on their groups earlier in the term, groups again were given a random audience: men, women, seniors, teens or children, and the wild card in which the decision was theirs. In groups they had to also provide the title, channel, time, and two commercials to assist in marketing to the designated audience while making rhetorical decisions about the content of the program. One group consisting of 3 males and 1 female (Saisha) were assigned men as their audience and decided to adapt the popular VHI series, where contestants compete for love.
Figure 6.2: Sitcom Assignment
As the group got ready to begin, Saisha walks out the door, and when she returns, the main character ―Candy,‖ a very feisty and seductive young woman struts in, switching her hips. The title of the program was ―A Real Chance at Candy Lane.‖ Familiar with the genre of reality television, they adhered to the model and used language appropriate to the context, time, and audience of the show. Further, call and response was integrated here more similarly to that of the church setting than in the oral workshop. Because the space of the technical screen of the television/theater/ media did not exist, audience was able to respond throughout the oral text of performance, and the speaker adjusted to the feedback, which was communicated through words, phrases, sighs, body language, applause, etc. Notably, when the audience did not respond, the text was less 62
successful—described in simple words as boring, not engaging, unprepared— a community text where audience plays a major role in composing a successful one. What I further realized as the presentations continued was that multiple texts were embedded. Much of what students did in the sitcom could be used in the more formal papers; for example, confessional shows utilized interviews, and celebrity chat shows, documentaries, and ―Top Model‖ series demonstrated the use of sources, case studies, and critiques, respectively. The same way students had to refer to sources and research to deliver the sitcom, teachers can demonstrate how these techniques can be used for formal papers.
CREATIVE COMPOSING • Audience: Men • Title: Real Chance at Confessions—Interviews Candy Lane Celebrity Chat—Sources • Channel: VHI Documentary—Case Study • Time: 9pm Top Model—Critique • Commercials: Axe and Infomercial for Single Ladies Print-Oral-Print Figure 6.3: Sitcoms/ Popular Media to Formal Texts
This could be further taken advantage of earlier in the course because it allowed them to have fun and also showed them that they have sufficient knowledge in many of these varying genres and can use that knowledge from popular media in the classroom as they compose their print text. Again, I was unable to further analyze this portion of the course, but it could be an interesting project to take up in the future.
6.2 The Future? 63
The purpose of the study was to get an audience in the room and observe how students responded to the oral experience to confirm or reject the benefits of orality on writing students. This study on Unit 2 of the course—paper two and the oral workshop—is only the first step to what this study could address when introducing audience this way. Moving forward, we could then consider and analyze the effectiveness of Unit 2 on the entire course. In other words, the central questions in this study focused on paper two, where I was able to track revisions before and after the oral workshop. Now if we take it a step further and use Unit 2 as a reference, we could explore how this completed assignment affects the revision process of the writer. What happens before and after assignment two, looking at paper one in relation to paper three? How might we code this? Is audience more apparent at the end of the course because of the oral experience? The third paper would then be most important, especially when students are asked to transition back to a more structured paper, where topic selection is ―upon approval‖ and informal language appropriate for oral discourse is no longer appropriate. Moving again from print-to oral-to print in a larger sense, would audience awareness sustain itself? Who do students talk to then; will an audience be visible? Further, what would such an oral workshop mean for the future composition classroom, espically when we consider the scholarship on workshopping and response? How does the oral workshop compare to the prior discussion, and what other benefits can we pull from this conversation? Additionally, how might we further utilize process and orality for writing instruction? How might we utilize this framework for upper level courses? Throughout this paper, I highlight ways the visual medium functions in orality through the use of clothing, digital media, etc. Some ministers even use props to assist the sermons? What would a course resemble that focuses not only on written and oral, but visual as well? Again this was only the first step—the use of orality to make audience more apparent by moving from print-to oral-to print—but as I have acknowledged in this study, many other avenues and research opportunities are available as we preceed in the study of orality. How will we further embrace binaries or distinctions between the written and oral discourse so that it complements writing instruction?
APPENDIX A COURSE SYLLABUS
Welcome to ENC 1102 1) ENC 1102-05 TR 9:30-10:45
2) ENC 1102-19 MW 12:30- 1:45
First Year Composition Mission Statement First-Year Writing courses at FSU teach writing as a recursive and frequently collaborative process of invention, drafting, and revising. Writing is both personal and social, and students should learn how to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Since writing is a process of making meaning as well as communicating, FYW teachers respond to the content of students' writing as well as to surface errors. Students should expect frequent written and oral response on the content of their writing from both teacher and peers. Classes rely heavily on a workshop format. Instruction emphasizes the connection between writing, reading, and critical thinking; students should give thoughtful, reasoned responses to the readings. Both reading and writing are the subjects of class discussions and workshops, and students are expected to be active participants of the classroom community. Learning form each other will be a large part of the classroom experience. If you would like further information regarding the First-Year Composition Program, feel free to contact the program director, Dr. Deborah Coxwell Teague ([email protected]
Course Goals This course aims to help you improve your writing skills in all areas: discovering what you have to say, organizing your thoughts for a variety of audiences, and improving fluency and rhetorical sophistication. You will write and revise three papers, write sustained exploratory journals, devise your own purposes and structures for those papers, work directly with the audience of your peers to practice critical reading and response, and learn many new writing techniques.
Required Materials * Convergences by Atwan * The New McGraw-Hill Handbook by Maimon, Peritz, & Yancey (McGraw-Hill, 2008) * Curious Researcher by Bruce Ballenger Additional readings from Americnrhetoric.com 65
Requirements of Course All of the formal written assignments below must be turned in to me in order to pass the course. Attendance is also a requirement. (More than four absences in a TR or MW class is grounds for failure.) Tardiness will also be noted. Students more than 10 minutes late to class will be counted as tardy. 3 tardies equal one absence. * Three papers, edited and polished (pp 22-25) * Three drafts and revisions turned in with each formal papers * 5 informal exploratory journals * Two individual conferences * Thoughtful, active, and responsible participation and citizenship, including discussion, preparation for class, in-class informal writing
Drafts and Workshops You'll always need to make two copies of your drafts and revisions (not final papers) before you come to class on days we workshop. I require that all drafts and revisions and revision to be typed (MLA format, 1-inch margins). You will be required to share your work with your classmates-take care in what you choose to write about. Your writing for this class is nearly always public writing in the sense that others will be reading, hearing, and commenting on it.
Paper Guidelines Size: 12 Point Font: Times New Roman Margins: 1‖ on all sides Length: vary paper by paper. Please be advised that if the paper is 6-8 pages then your essay must end at the bottom of the sixth page to receive full credit. Note: the bibliography and work cited page does not count towards the page limit Format: MLA Format
Journals Exploratory journals usually deal with a reading assignment or class discussion. All journals must be posted on our Blackboard Website before the class begins (We'll cover this in class). Journals should be thoughtful and show the depth of your thinking process. 250 words minimum.
Presentations As part of participation, there will be three small presentations/projects of collaboration. They must be organized, developed and ready to be presented to the class. A written script must be provided day of presentation. Remember, the audience is also part of discussion and participation. I believe in treating others like you would want to be treated. Everyone will be in the hot seat, so show your peers respect and attentiveness by being prepared for discussion. Oral presentations will be assigned for Paper 2. Consult paper topics in Course Library.
Paper 1 (5-7 pages) 15% Paper 2 (5-7 pages) 20% [Oral portion attributed to participation] Paper 3 (8-10 pages) 30% Journals (250 word minimum each) -10% Presentation (3 min Advertisement) -4% Presentation (5min Newscast) -6% Presentation (10 min Sitcom) -8% Participation- 7% First-Year Composition Course Drop Policy
This course is NOT eligible to be dropped in accordance with the ―Drop Policy‖ adopted by the Faculty Senate in Spring 2004. The Undergraduate Studies Dean will not consider drop requests for a First-Year Composition course unless there are extraordinary and extenuating circumstances utterly beyond the student's control (e.g.: death of a parent or sibling, illness requiring hospitalization, etc.). The Faculty Senate specifically eliminated First-Year Composition courses from the University Drop Policy because of the overriding requirement that First-Year Composition be completed during students' initial enrollment at FSU.
Civility I will tolerate neither disruptive language nor disruptive behavior. Disruptive language includes, but is not limited to, violent and/or belligerent and/or insulting remarks, including sexist, racist, homophobic or anti-ethnic slurs, bigotry, and disparaging commentary, either spoken or written (offensive slang is included in this category). While I do not disagree that you each have a right to your own opinions, inflammatory language founded in ignorance or hate is unacceptable and will be dealt with immediately. Disruptive behavior includes the use of cell phones, pagers or any other form of electronic communication during the class session (e-mail, web-browsing). Disruptive behavior also includes whispering or talking when another member of the class is speaking or engaged in relevant conversation (remember that I am a member of this class as well). This classroom functions on the premise of respect, and you will be asked to leave the classroom if you violate any part of this statement on civility. Remember that you will send me an e-mail that indicates you have read and understand this policy. I do not have authority over what you wear, so I only ask, "Please do not come to class ready for the beach." I know it is hot outside, but you may find it is cold in here. We are here to learn, so please do not distract your peers and me with your nakedness.
Reading/Writing Center The RWC offers one-on-one help for students with their writing, whether they need help with a writing problem, understanding what their teacher wants, or just want to do better on their writing assignments. The Center is staffed by teaching assistants who are trained in writing and 67
teaching. Make an appointment by calling ahead (644-6495) or stopping in (222-C WMS).
Plagiarism Plagiarism is grounds for suspension from the university as well as for failure in this course. It will not be tolerated. Any instance of plagiarism must be reported to the Director of First-Year Writing and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Plagiarism is a counterproductive, nonwriting behavior that is unacceptable in a course intended to aid the growth of individual writers. Plagiarism is included among the violations defined in the Academic Honor Code, section b), paragraph 2, as follows: "Regarding academic assignments, violations of the Academic Honor Code shall include representing another's work or any part thereof, be it published or unpublished, as one's own."
Gordon Rule Successful completion of all writings in this course and a final course grade of C- or better will allow you to satisfy the Gordon Rule requirement. The University requires you to write 7,000 words, but you will be writing much more than that in any FYW course.
ADA Students with disabilities needing academic accommodations should in the FIRST WEEK OF CLASS 1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) and 2) bring a letter to the instructor from SDRC indicating the need for academic accommodations. This and all other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.
Schedule (Subject to Change)
Unit 1 WEEK 1 Aug 25
M/T Course Intro/ Get To Know You W/R Course Questions for New and Old students McGraw- Hill WEEK 2 Sept 1
M (Labor Day- No Class) T/TBA *HW: Read Richard Straub ―Responding—Really—Responding—to Other Students‘ Writing‖ W/R 68
Plagiarism Exercise/ Workshop Expectations/ Paper 1 Intro *HW- bring 2 copies of Draft 1 for M/T- email copy
Journal 1 Due
WEEK 3 Sept 8
M/T *HW: Read Mary Fisher and Barbara Jordan Workshop (Draft 1 Due) W/R Sign up for conferences and presentations (advertisement and oral reports) Journal 2 Due *HW- Bring completed draft 2 to conference- email copy WEEK 4 Sept 15 Conferences *HW: Remember to bring 2 copies of Draft 3 for M/T- email copy
WEEK 5 Sept 22
M/T Workshop (Draft 3 Due) *HW: Locate your favorite movie speech. Write it down to share with class. *Read: Movie Speeches‘ link, located in Course Library. W/R Generative Grammar *HW: Complete Paper 1
Journal 3 Due
Unit 2 WEEK 6 Sept 29
(Paper 1 due with all drafts, revisions, and comments) - email final copy Paper 2 Intro (Choose Audience) 3 min Advertisements Library Prep CR- pg 63-88 W/R Library Visit: Meet at the Library. Be on time. *HW- bring 2 copies of Draft 1 for M/T.- email copy 69
WEEK 7 Oct 6 M/T *HW- CR- Read pg 116-30; 137-40 (Conversing wit Sources) Workshop (Draft 1 Due) W/R Incorporating Sources and Politics *HW- CR- Read pg 186-92; 196-98 (Creating and Sustaining Interest) McGraw-Hill- pg 248-53 (Oral Presentations) WEEK 8 Oct 13
M/T Incorporating MLA Format *HW: Prepare to present- email draft 2 day of presentation and bring 2 copies: one for teacher and self W/R (presentations 5 persons)
Journal 4 Due next class day after presentation
WEEK 9 Oct 20
M/T (presentations 5 persons) W/R (presentations 5 persons) Sign up for presentations (newscast and sitcom) WEEK 10 Oct 27 M/T (presentations 5 persons) W/R (presentations 5 persons) Unit 3 WEEK 11 Nov 3
M/T 5 min Newscast Workshop Draft 3 ( Bring in One copy) *HW: McGraw-Hill-Read pg 210-23 (Argument); pg 84-88 (Visuals) 70
W/R Paper 3 Intro Annotated Bibliography *HW- bring 2 copies of Draft 1 for M/T- RDS email copy
(Paper 2 due with all drafts, comments, and documentation) - email final copy WEEK 12 Nov 10 M/ T (Veteran’s Day- No Class *HW: Read Veteran‘s Day Post. Allow time to read and respond to Journal. W/R *HW- Bring completed draft2 to conference.
Workshop (Draft 1 Due) Journal 5 Due
WEEK 13 Nov17 M/T SPOTS/ Last minute Touch ups W/R 10 min sitcom WEEK 14 Nov 24 M/T Workshop (Draft 2 Due) W/R -Thanksgiving Day- No Class
WEEK 15 Dec 1 Conferences *HW- Bring 2 copies of Draft 3 for M/T.
---Monday Dec 8 by 12pm (Paper 3 due with all drafts and comments)- email copy No Finals. Happy Holidays! 71
APPENDIX B IRB APPROVAL LETTER
Office of the Vice President For Research Human Subjects Committee Tallahassee, Florida 32306-2742 (850) 644-8673 · FAX (850) 644-4392 APPROVAL MEMORANDUM Date: 9/9/2008 To: Brittney Boykins Address: Tallahassee, FL Dept.: ENGLISH DEPARTMENT From: Thomas L. Jacobson, Chair Re: Use of Human Subjects in Research Now You See Me; Now You Don't: Audience in the Composition Classroom The application that you submitted to this office in regard to the use of human subjects in the proposal referenced above have been reviewed by the Secretary, the Chair, and two members of the Human Subjects Committee. Your project is determined to be Expedited per 45 CFR § 46.110(7) and has been approved by an expedited review process. The Human Subjects Committee has not evaluated your proposal for scientific merit, except to weigh the risk to the human participants and the aspects of the proposal related to potential risk and benefit. This approval does not replace any departmental or other approvals, which may be required. If you submitted a proposed consent form with your application, the approved stamped consent form is attached to this approval notice. Only the stamped version of the consent form may be used in recruiting research subjects. If the project has not been completed by 9/7/2009 you must request a renewal of approval for continuation of the project. As a courtesy, a renewal notice will be sent to you prior to your expiration date; however, it is your responsibility as the Principal Investigator to timely request 72
renewal of your approval from the Committee. You are advised that any change in protocol for this project must be reviewed and approved by the Committee prior to implementation of the proposed change in the protocol. A protocol change/amendment form is required to be submitted for approval by the Committee. In addition, federal regulations require that the Principal Investigator promptly report, in writing any unanticipated problems or adverse events involving risks to research subjects or others. By copy of this memorandum, the Chair of your department and/or your major professor is reminded that he/she is responsible for being informed concerning research projects involving human subjects in the department, and should review protocols as often as needed to insure that the project is being conducted in compliance with our institution and with DHHS regulations. This institution has an Assurance on file with the Office for Human Research Protection. The Assurance Number is IRB00000446. Cc: Kathleen Yancey, Advisor HSC No. 2008.1645
APPENDIX C CONSENT FORM
To: Students enrolled in ENC 1102/1145 Fall 08-09 From: Brittney Boykins, Department of English, Florida State University. Re: FSU Consent Form/Request Date: Sept 2, 2008 The purpose of this study is to determine how students‘ oral experience—and their awareness of it—can improve their writing. . As participants, you will be asked to provide all texts and notes from the course and an audiotaped interview or no more than 15 minutes after the term in January. Confidentiality: The records of this study will be kept completely private and confidential. We will not include any information that would make it possible to identify a subject in any sort of report we might publish. Research records will be stored securely and only researchers will have access to the records. Tape recordings will only be listened to by researchers and erased one year after the original taping date. Voluntary Nature of the Study: Participation in this study is voluntary. Your decision whether or not to participate will not affect your grade in the course. The identity of student participants will not be made known to investigator until after the end of the semester. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw at any time without affecting those relationships. Contacts and Questions: If you have any questions concerning this study, please contact Brittney Boykins Florida State University e-mail Dr. Kathleen Yancey, Director of Rhetoric Composition at Florida State University, faculty advisor phone and e-mail 74
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study and would like to talk to someone other than the researcher(s), you are encouraged to contact the FSU IRB at 2010 Levy Street, Research Building B, Suite 276, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2742, or 850-6448633, or by email at [email protected]
. You will be given a copy of this information to keep for your records. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Statement of Consent: I have read the above information. I have asked questions and have received answers.
, Consent to participation in the study.
, Do Not Consent to participation in the
_____________________________________Signature ________________________________________Phone ______________________________________Address _________________________________Email Address
APPENDIX D JOURNAL QUESTIONS
1. What was your experience with workshopping last term? Was it helpful? Why or why not. What would you change or expect from workshopping? What do you look for when you workshop a peer's paper? What steps do you take? What did you take from Straub's reading and will try to implement in workshopping? You have authority in responding to student writing. Do you agree? Why or why not? (I really want to know how you feel, so please take this seriously :) 2. After reading Jordan and Fisher, what was the main idea of the two texts? Who do you feel was the audience? What did you like and dislike about the text. Why? What strategies did the authors take (example: narrative, objective, subjective, and emotional)? Provide any ideas or observations that come to mind when reading the texts. What is the tone (this may be answered in the prior question)? What would you change/eliminate or add? (Try to answer all questions thoroughly ;) 3. For fun only. Can you identify which movie these speeches (located in course library) were taken? Now seriously. What in your opinion is the difference between reading a text and hearing a text? Would you rather read a text or listen to a text? Does it depend on the text? Why or why not. As you write up your favorite movie speech, what is the different about writing them? Do you see the speech differently when it is in your hand versus hearing it from a distance? Does the speech lose its value (length, authority, voice etc)? Any other thoughts are welcomed. 4. After you oral presentation, please answer the following: A) What was your most memorable moment in this oral experience? B) What are you most proud of about the oral experience? C) Was this your first oral presentation? If not, how was it similar or different from your previous experience? D) How did you prepare for the presentation? 76
E) How did it change from what was previously prepared? 5. After your oral presentation, please answer the following: A) Were the comments helpful? Why or why not? B) What might you change in your paper based on the audience feedback? Why? C) What was similar or different about the oral comments given by the audience and that of workshopping peers? D) In preparation, what did you consider in the preparation from print to oral? E) What was more appropriate for print discourse or more appropriate for oral discourse? F) Any other comments on the experience of presenting the paper orally? G) -For those of you who read directly from the paper, what observations can you describe; for instance, if you deviated from the text (preface, additional anecdotes), why? Other comments on the subject are welcomed. -For those who didn‘t read directly from text, what observations can you describe; for instance, if you deviated from the text (preface, additional anecdotes), why? Other comments on the subject are welcomed 6. How are the two text/speeches different? What is the purpose/claim for each text/speech? What techniques (analytical, historical, personal, etc) do the texts exemplify? Describe the differences. How do the authors/speakers support it (give examples from the text)? Did the text succeed? Why or why not?
APPENDIX E INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What have you observed through this oral experience, and how do you see audience now? 2. How helpful was the audience feedback? In what ways? Was it overwhelming? Was it too little? 3. How do you feel about the teacher as audience? Is that more than enough audience, or do you prefer the students as audience? Is it similar to the written workshop? Why or why not? 4. How has your writing changed, if any, after the oral experience/audience feedback? 5. Is audience more apparent? Why or why not? Are you able to connect with your in-print audience more easily? Is your understanding of audience and its effects on communication more elaborate or sophisticated? If so, how?
Anson, Chris M. ―Response Styles and Ways of Knowing.‖ Writing and Responses: Theory, Practice, and Research. Illinois: NCTE, 1989. 332-66. Bakhtin, Mikhail. ―Marxism and the Philosophy of Language.‖ Bizzell and Herzberg 1210-15. Berlin, James and Catherine Hobbs. "A Century of Writing Instruction in School and College English." A Short History of Writing Instruction. Murphy, James, 2nd edition. Mahweh, New Jersey, 2001; rpt Routledge 2008, 247-91. Bizzell, Patricia and Bruce Herzberg, eds. The Rhetorical Tradition. 2nd Ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin‘s, 2001. Britton, James. ―Spectator Role and the Beginnings of Writing.‖ Villanueava 151-74. Campbell, Charles A. ―Think-Talk-Write: A Behavioristic Pedagogy fro Scribal Fluency.‖ College English 31.2 (1969): 208-15. Ede, Lisa S. ―On Audience and Composition.‖ College Composition and Communication 30.3 (1979): 291-95. Ede, Lisa and Andrea Lunsford. ―Audience Addressed/ Audience Invoked: the Role of Audience in Composition Theory and Pedagogy.‖Villanueava 77-96. Elbow, Peter. ―The Shifting Relationship between Speech and Writing.‖ College Composition and Communication 36 (1985): 283-303. Flower, Linda. "Writer-Based P rose: A Cognitive Basis for Problems inWriting."College English 41 (1979): 19-37. Flower, Linda and John R. Hayes. ―A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing.‖ Villanueava 273-98. Johnson, Sarah Coprich. ―African Methodist Episcopal Church Ventures in Literacy.‖ The Role of the Black Church in Family Literacy. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc, 1993. 23-25. Killingsworth, Jimmie. ―Product and Process, Literacy and Orality: An Essay on Composition and Culture.‖ College Composition 44.1 (1993):26-39. 79
MacNealy, Mary Sue. Strategies for Empirical Research in Writing. New York: Longman. Mallory, Maria and Staff. ―Soul- Stirring Sermons: Traditional black preaching draws forth two way communication between pew and pulpit.‖ The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. 8 May 1999. B1. McHenry, Elizabeth and Shirley Brice Heath. ― ―The Literate and Literary:African Americans asWriters and Readers—1830—1940 .‖ Literacy: the Critical Sourcebook. Cushman, Ellen, eds, et al. Boston: Bedford/ St Martin‘s, 2001. 261 -74. Moss, Beverly. ― Creating a Community: Literacy Events in African American Churches.‖ Literacy Across Communities. Cresskill, New Jersey, Hampton Press, Inc, 1994. 147-78. Moss, Beverly. ―From the Pews to the Classrooms: Influences of the African American Church on Academic Literacy.‖ Literacy in African American Communities. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlabaum Associates, Publishers, 2001. 195214. Ong, Walter. ―The Writer‘s Audience is Always a Fiction.‖. Villanueava 55-76. Park, Douglas B. ―The Meanings of Audience.‖ College Composition 44.3 (1982): 247 -57. Perl, Sondra.‖ The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers.‖ Villanueava 17 42. Tannen, Deborah. ―Commingling of Orality and Literacy in Giving a Paper at a Scholarly Conference.‖ American Speech 63 (1988):34-43. Straub, Richard. ―Responding—Really Responding—to Other Student‘s Writing.‖ On Writing: A Process Reader. 3rd ed./Florida Stated University ed. Boston: McGrawHill, 2008. 28997. Szymanski, Natalie. Personal Interview. 29 Mar 2009. Walters, Margaret. ―Robert Zoellner‘s Talk-Write Pedagogy: Instrumental Concept for Composition Today.‖ Rhetoric Review 10.2 (1992):239-43. Weaver, Richard. ―Language is Sermonic.‖ Bizzell and Herzberg 1351-60. Villanueava, Victor, Ed. Cross- Talk in Comp Theory. 2nd ed. Illinois: NCTE, 2003. 80
Zoellner, Robert. ―Talk-Write: A Behavioral Pedagogy for Composition.‖ College English 30.4 (1969): 267-320.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH In the spring of 2007, Brittney Boykins earned her Bachelors degree in English with a minor in English Education from Florida State University. Shortly after, she was admitted into its graduate program summer of 2007 under her major professor Kathleen Blake Yancey, director of Rhetoric and Composition. Brittney‘s research interests, both literary and theoretical, stems around the church. Influenced and raised by black rhetors of the church, Brittney is particularly interested in how the female rhetors‘ identities are postured through their roles as speakers.