Writing in High School/ Writing in College

Writing in High School / Writing in College: Research Trends and Future Directions: Joanne Addison and Sharon James McGee Response

The opening of the article summarizes what the reader is going to be analyzing and reading. “This article synthesizes and extends data from some of the most prominent and promising large-scale research projects in writing studies while also presenting results from the authors’ own research. By juxtaposing these studies, the authors offer a complex understanding of writing practices at the high school and college level. Future directions are suggested in light of these research findings” (147). What truly drew me to this article was how thorough it was. I was able to view the research and data closely and come to my own conclusions about the importance of college and high school writing. The article started out by talking about the main points of the research, which were identifying large-scale research data about writing studies of students and faculty in high school and college and moving in a different direction when it comes to literacy studies amongst high school and college students.

There were many points made throughout the article that I agreed with. The first one was how important the study of writing has become. “Now more than ever, there is an urgency to demonstrate the value of writing across the curriculum at local and national levels” (148). Writing is now considered a subject to be just as important as psychology or even religious studies. Without studying writing the most effective way, students who move from high school to college and then post-college will have fewer chances at succeeding the best way that they can. My reason for saying this is because they would have had the disadvantage of not learning writing compared to a school whose students and faculty were excelling. However, this could cause a hindrance in the new learning process. On the same page, the article discussed how school districts were starting to overwhelm students with more loads and larger class sizes. “The current fiscal crisis facing school districts and universities across the United States is leading to increased class sizes, increased teaching loads, and even the elimination of core requirements as we all scramble to balance budgets that are not expected to improve in the near future” (148). The reason why this is important is that it would be difficult to have a better future for students as they become writers if the system is dangerously flawed. Without room for improvement, the expectancy for great writers will be diminished.

From my high school academic experience, writing research papers were considered to be important and also a subject that could make or break my writing career in college. However, I do not believe I was taught how to form a good research paper. My reason for saying this is because my freshman writing professor gave me constructive criticism concerning my writing. Going into the class, I thought my writing was good since I received good grades in high school English. Even the article stated that from their research that students think more highly of their writing skills than their teachers or professors. In order to change this, I believe deep learning is what the curriculum needs to incorporate in order to reteach the writing and research process at a high school and college level. The article does make a valid point by saying, “While student may never need to write an ‘academic’ research paper in the workplace, many faculty members see the experience of doing so as benefiting students immensely when it allows for the opportunity to entertain an idea, follow its intellectual trajectory, and engage in its debate” (165).  I believe we need to start a new trend by taking writing research papers more seriously even though most students will not conduct a paper in their work field. It does give future workers a foundation from their educational experience in order to grow past the collegiate level.   


Addison and Sharon James McGee
College Composition and Communication
Vol. 62, No. 1, The Future of Rhetoric and Composition (September 2010), pp. 147-179

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