Monday 5 May 2014

‘Writing Skills – through a looking glass’

Precisely, what do we do as writers when we compose a piece of script? What kind of mood, behavior, thought, choices of words represent the composition? How the writer becomes involved in the writing? What keeps him going? What causes blocks that most of us has experienced at times when we try to write about a certain topic? Let’s make the query simpler. What does the act of writing involves? Some writers seem to have a much better understanding of how to make the processes work more effectively for them and consequently produce more successful pieces of writings. Then again, most of the writers come to consent on an essential feature; that writing is a process; in fact a very knotty process with a number of processes going on simultaneously. This outcome holds significant implications for the classroom teaching of writing skills. Can teachers help students to put their ideas into words? Can they explain the process? The conventional focus had been on the end process of work rather than on the ongoing processes that constitute the end process. As teachers/facilitators it would be certainly useful to investigate the ongoing processes of composition and find out what necessitates so that we can mirror on the difficulty it may present to the learner. For example we can ask the students to think and write about the following: Reflect on processes that they go through when they are given a specific topic e.g. a paragraph on describing the life cycle of a butterfly before actually writing about the topic. The reflection should include –       

 1.  How do you start thinking? Do you make a plan? 
 2.  Do you think for a period before you write?        
 3.  Before setting the content do you make notes?        
 4.  Note down various strategies you use while writing?          
 5.  Do you stop and read through what you have written?         
 6.  How often do you read back and forth your composition and add / correct the content?

 This simple investigation into the students writing is the crude imitation of the careful and detailed processes they incorporate while writing. It will help the teacher understand the student’s perspective and the ideas to reflect upon and address the jammers that hinders the writing process.

Sneha Patel

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