To begin my writing process, I obviously picked my topic. My topic (or reality if you will) is that writing is not a linear process like we have always learned in secondary school. Now, older and experienced writers are going to look at that statement and say, “Duh!” However, inexperienced and young writers are likely thinking, “What do you mean?” Since my start of college, I’ve discovered that mostly everything I thought I knew about writing is false. This really makes me wonder, if writing is in fact non-linear, why do we learn it in the first place? Is it to help explain the steps you could use in a process? If so, why do teachers neglect teaching the transition from secondary to post-secondary writing? Are there ever times when implementing a linear process is necessary and/or useful? …I guess you could say I have several questions that I want answers to- or at least find information on.
So, after picking this topic, I did some research. I found several academic articles that could be useful in my discovery process. One of these articles is actually a government published outline for how teachers should teach the writing process. I also went to Alden Library to look for some books on the writing process in different levels of education; these will definitely be useful. From what I have gathered and read so far, there are two worlds I’m jumping into. Secondary school teachers seem to teach nothing but linear and have no instruction on how writing in college is different, or that it is even okay to write differently. (I’m not implying that the teachers are not doing their jobs- just that they do not touch on the recursive writing process at all- perhaps their teaching standards are set that way). Post-secondary teaching in the area of writing does everything to destroy the idea of a linear writing process and emphasizes that no writer is the same, writing can take as long as it needs to, and there are several different steps you can take in any order to write. Now, this is what I expected to find in my research, but it still does not answer the question as to why there is no “transition phase.” Thus, my engagement in the argument of writing processes has been centered on that niche- the “transitional writing phase.”
Now I plan to do a little more research. Then I will begin my actual “words on paper” process. Hopefully some more of my questions are answered, and I can write an interesting new piece for this discourse community. I will keep you posted.
Some sources I have found so far (not all in citation form):
Bay, Jennifer. "Writing Beyond Borders: Rethinking The Relationship Between Composition Studies And Professional Writing." Composition Studies 38.2 (2010): 29-46. ERIC. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.
Gebhardt, Richard. "Process And Intention": A Thirtieth-Year Reflection." Writing Instructor (2011): ERIC. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.