*The following guide for the "Meditation on Reading and Writing" assignment for Dr. Bob Marrs was written by Rachael Riggs, a former Writing Center Consultant, in fulfillment of an assignment for Topics in Composition, the Writing Center staff development course.
A central issue of this course will be an exploration of the nature of reading and writing. The intent of this project is to produce an essay exploring the technologies of reading and writing.
Basically, this assignment is to take pieces or parts
of pieces you have previously written in class, or write something
new, and put them together into a mosaic or collage. Each piece will
be a section of the collage, and should make sense all by itself -
if you found a segment laying on the ground, picked it up and read
it, you would understand what is going on, it would feel complete.
While you do NOT need a specific thesis that connects each piece together,
try to look for a common theme - something about reading/writing -
that you can focus on.
Not making revision or doing little revision. This is
an exploration, so rethinking a lot of what is written is a good idea.
Revision is re-thinking. Try to go beyond suggestions made by him
or other readers - show you have made your own thoughts about this.
He will expect clean editing.
Evaluation: There will be two levels of evaluation for this project. One for the reader to be able to enjoy what is going on in the collage, possibly be entertained and enlightened. The other level results in a grade.
Audience: This will be a lay reader who is interested
in the subject, but is educated and intelligent. One suggestion -
write for an ideal version of yourself, who you are when you are fully
engaged and thinking, how you work as a reader. Imagine a demanding
reader who forces you to be careful with language and development.
This reader should be inside you - as the reader grows and matures,
so will you as a writer.
Other useful information on this subject
Collage/mosaic writing: A writing collage is very much like an artistic collage. The pieces alone have meaning, but come together to form the whole. The pieces are put together, usually with asterisks between them to show the separation. Unlike other writing genres, collage writing has little and loose organizational principle. A thesis statement pulling everything together is unnecessary, BUT the collage should have a theme or topic. Think appositional!
What do you need to know about appositional writing?
Additional materials which could prove helpful:
W. Ross Winterowd "Rediscovering the Essay" Journal of Advanced Composition, 1998.
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E-mail Dr. Bob Marrs with any questions, comments or suggestions.