CCTE: Miles Kimball Talk

To get you thinking, his prefatory remarks:

We should quit teaching students to write essays.

high stake essay tests, entry essays,

exploratory, persuasive, expository… share characteristics.

1. writing is an intellectual experience.
responds to a prompt (take a stand
2. few essays have an authentic audience
We generally ask students to lie. The only person who will read the essay is the instructor. But we downgrade the essay (usually) if the essay is written to the teacher.
3. lack any particular exigency
tend to be hollow exercises, rather than authentic situations

I call these essays de-composition. Approach to writing like 5-paragraph essay. They’re like zombies… still there.

skills taught in de-contextualized situation do not transfer

preoccupation of English with the essay differs greatly from how students write in the wild…

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