Archive for February, 2009

Critical Power Tools, part one

Posted: February 10, 2009 in Readings, Review, School
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Today’s post is about the foreword, introduction, and three chapters of Critical Power Tools by J. Blake Scott, Bernadette Longo, and Katherine V. Wills. The reason this is part one is that I will be coming back to the rest of the book in a few weeks.

Part of my interest in this work is that I’m seeking an understanding of “Scientific and Technical Communication.” I’m a Rhetoric person, which grew out of my Philosophy background. I’m okay with sticking with Rhetoric, but I want to understand STC as well. Which is why I was very pleased to read that “technical communication is like Foucauldian power/knowledge system in that it relies on the invisibility of the relationships by which it includes and excludes, by which it orders, measures, and discipline” (x). (more…)

I had a meeting on Friday where I described my thesis and my idea of discount peer response. At first, the person I was talking to thought it was a fine name, but when I started going through my ideas and hit Peer Response 2.0, she said that was perfect and that the idea was ‘newsworthy.’

She thinks that the real place to focus is the use of Google Docs with peer response, and to both address how the students use it and how the teachers use it. Showing that it makes revision an active part of the process is a great step. It’s very exciting, and now I have a myriad of sources to investigate before I turn two pages of my thesis into an article length paper.

In about 10 minutes, I’m going to a meeting to discuss my theory of discount peer response. In a few months, assuming I can still get a plane ticket, I’ll present it at CCCC (which was iffy for a bit, until I found I had departmental funding). Somewhere between now and the beginning of the fall semester, I’m going to try to rewrite my thesis into a solid article, and try to publish it in CCC. I’ve already been advised on three major issues: the tone (less as an experienced teacher, more as an exploring one), the references (need more cutting edge stuff), and the name.


On Great Writing

Posted: February 6, 2009 in Pedagogy, Readings, Review, School, writing

I have more to say about my own stuff, but first I wanted to talk about a nice little book that I just read. It’s called On Great Writing (On the Sublime) and is by this guy named Longinus. No, not the Roman soldier who supposedly stabbed Jesus on the cross. I mean Longinus, the writing teacher. I’m pretty sure they’re different people.

I’m being a bit flippant here. On Great Writing is an incredible book, and fantastically important. So much so that I’m amazed it has taken me this long to be exposed to it.  (Though I suppose if I’d ever had a copy of Rhetorical Tradition I would’ve seen it). This book, short as it is (58 pages of text, the Grube translation) very quickly establishes itself and shows why it has been so influential for so many thinkers. (more…)