English and Literature
Submitted By berenicegarza7
One of the luminaries examined in CompBiblio is Edward P.J. Corbett, whom like Mulroy, is recognized as a “key figure responsible for reintroducing classical rhetorical theory to composition studies” (61). One of Corbett’s highly acclaimed articles involves the idea of the rhetoric of the open hand and the closed fist. The closed fist symbolizes the tight discourse of the philosopher; the open hand symbolizes the relaxed discourse of the orator. This theory can be very useful to the modern composition classrooms, and I agree with the rhetorical aspect of writing instead of the process of how one writes; I do not find Corbett’s work useful for me as a teacher. Corbett goes all the way back to the disciplines of rhetoric and logic that were incorporated in the English Renaissance schools. To me, this theory is too structured, and students need to be motivated to write freely and thus begin to enjoy writing. Students who can overcome the fear of writing can then be taught the different forms of writing techniques as well as the grammatical aspects of writing. In contrast to Corbett, Peter Elbow is considered the pioneer of freewriting. Elbow urges teachers to help students express themselves while they write by using multiple drafts and by engaging students, in what he calls, classroom writing, in which students generate ideas by participating in a class discussion and then writing based on the discussion. I strongly believe that we as English teachers must go back to the basics of writing and help the struggling students who know nothing about reading and writing. How can I, as a future teacher, focus on the student’s writing product when they have no clue how to create a complete sentence? I agree with Elbow’s theories of expressivism and his “focus on the individual learner” (78). Although this process sounds more challenging and much more lengthy to…...