Teaching Philosopy: How To Mark A Book By Mortimer Adler

985 words - 4 pages

For a student to be successful in college English, they need to understand there is an intimate relationship between reading and writing. One skill reinforces the other. Competent readers make competent writers. The challenge is universal: How do we transition students from high school to college English? I would like to say I have the answer, but the answer changes with each class and every semester. There isn’t one set model, and I understand that my model will constantly evolve and reflect my student’s needs.
I create my own reader for students, and as I was creating my reader for an English Composition class, I found an article titled, “How to Mark a Book” by Mortimer Adler. In ...view middle of the document...

It is important that students are able to acquire, analyze, and evaluate information, but they also need opportunities to foster new ideas and different points of view in both through classroom discussion and writing; this is an introduction to argumentative theory and vocabulary, which is a key skill to becoming a successful writer. Weekly, one-page response papers are assigned based on their readings, which helps students understand my writing expectations, and gain confidence as the transition from generalized and vague language to academic writing. In class writing assignments, which deal with key questions from their reading, also helps students make the transition. After reading “Why I Write” by Joan Didion, I invite students to write a short essay about their writing process. Each reading and writing assignment escalates in difficulty, with the intention to build confidence, reduce anxiety, and overcome fear about their writing process, while increasing their academic language.
Reading and writing are a crucial part of English composition, but the drafting, revising, and editing components are a vital part of a student’s success. I invite my students to write several drafts of their essays, and writing assignments, to workshop with their peers, and me on a one-on-one basis. From experience, many students don’t embrace this step in the writing process.
Analyzing their peers’ essays utilizing a traditional workshop format is a beneficial instrument to a student’s success. Students not only become active readers, but they start to develop the ability to distinguish generalized and vague language from academic writing. They start to recognize out of sequence thoughts and underdeveloped thesis statements, along with inconsistency in essay structure (does the body of composition follow logical thought associated with the thesis statement, does the author display authority, and does the author offer an opposing point of view). By constantly writing,...

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