A%2BPrescription%2Bfor%2BGood%2BWriting_1_-4 - English...

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English 125.059 (Winter 2011) Moisés Perales-Escudero A Prescription for Good Writing? Most English teachers and writing textbooks offer students rules, or systems of thinking and working, that are “prescriptive”—that is, they offer directions which, if followed, are supposed to result in “good writing.” But do they? Are these rules really the best way to communicate well? Are there other ways to think about creating effective written communication? Why should we keep or discard these rules? Your first paper is designed to help you think about the specific reasoning behind one “rule” of good writing that you have learned at some point in your academic career. Your job is to expose the reasoning underlying this rule, then validate or critique it using your own understanding of rhetorical argumentation, and reasoning developed from your own experience as a reader/writer. Some examples of “rules” of good writing might include global (big picture) issues, like using a 5- paragraph essay, placing the thesis at the end of the first paragraph, using a funnel shaped introduction, using MLA format, or creating an outline before writing. Other students might want to talk about local (paragraph and sentence-level) rules like: never use passive voice, don’t use the first person, “omit needless words” (Strunk and White 23), or paragraphs should be 5-8 sentences. Perhaps you’ve heard or created other rules for yourself. Now’s your chance to think
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A%2BPrescription%2Bfor%2BGood%2BWriting_1_-4 - English...

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