Sunday, September 11, 2011
Courtney Adams Blog #1
The definition of the word literate is described in the first chapter of Everything’s a Text by Dan Melzer and Deborah Coxwell-Teague. The thought that being literate means more than just being able to read and write is unheard of for me.
I found definitions of literate that I had never thought of before. Also, I realized that the definition of being literate is always changing. “The ability to combine genres to create hybrid forms is a valuable skill for twenty-first-century literacy” (Melzer, Coxwell-Teague 5). I have always viewed language as something that stays the same while the world changes around it so this information was particularly shocking to me.
For me, English has always been something just taught in school, purpose and audience were just some things you took tests. It dawned on me that for future jobs I will have to use the English skills I am learning to be successful. “The composers’ message failed to be persuasive because the composers were insensitive to cultural and social contexts” (Melzer, Coxwell-Teague 22). Even if we aren’t English majors everyone needs to be up to date on their English skills to be successful.
Mercury Reader describes the topic of “Good Writing” in the initial section of English. The text explains that there are open forms and closed forms in writing. “The problem is that different kinds of writing have different criteria for effectiveness” (Reader 2). Going into college, most students, like myself, have been fed the 5-paragraph essay format for the past 4 years. To know that there are other essay formats and ones that are more effective for some topics is not only monumental but great news.
In the 5-paragraph essay format, all material stems from a thesis statement, without any broader thought. The idea of a, “Thesis question, which is the problem or issue to which the thesis responds” was only skimmed in high school (Reader 7). To have a question as a topic instead of a statement will help me to broaden my thoughts and realize there are multiple answers from different perspectives on any topic.