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Paper 4--FINAL

Paper 4--FINAL

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Published by Anna Jean Cmolik

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Published by: Anna Jean Cmolik on Mar 13, 2012
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Cmolik 1Grading and Creativity: Friends of Foes?By: Anna Cmolik When you think about it, everything you do in life is at least a little bit creative andunique to you. Even when you are brushing your teeth or turning on your car, there is at least thetiniest spark of your own creativity to the specific process of how you go about doing so. But
say, your friend says to you, „Oh! You brush your teeth with your mou
th open? Well that
sure is weird‟ or „The way you turn on your car on and immediately turn on the air conditioner isgoing to mess your engine up you know!‟. This, even though it may just be a comment on an
interesting fact or a helpful comment, depending
on the way it‟
s presented, may cause you a littleembarrassment and make you change the way you brush your teeth or start your car from nowon. It may cause you to feel and do this because obviously your friend thinks there is a betterway to do those things, and so you listen to them. The same is with writing. No matter what isbeing written, whether it is a poem or an academic article, such as this one, everything you writecontains some major creativity. But if a colleague were to look at and mark up som
ething you‟ve
written with so many red marks to fix your grammar and punctuation errors, and then comment
on whatever it is you wrote with a negative, generic comment such as, “Did you even proofreadthis?” or “This is very confusing”, it can cause
some great distress. It could cause you tocompletely give up on all the creative thoughts and points you were trying to make with yourunique structure and ideas, and conform to what your reader thinks is best since they may knowbetter than you. The same thing can cause students to forget their creative side and conform towhat their teacher says is right, since they will be the ones grading the paper. That is what I amtrying to prove.
Cmolik 2So many people have written about how important creativity is in writing curriculumsand everyday life (Everett, Welch), which counters the argument that creative writing classes aresimply just an elective-like writing course and do not do much for the student (Lloyd-Jones).Many people have also written about the process of grading, and how a teacher should go aboutgrading and the effects of all of those red marks or the comments they leave can affect a studentor upset them (Sommer, Dunstan and Smith). But even still, very little people have given thethought to how these
comments and proofreading marks can affect a student‟s creativity a
ndtheir desire to be creative when writing. When teachers go about marking every little grammar or
spelling error and leaving such unhelpful, generic comments on student‟s papers, it can c
ausethem to give up hope in themselves and their writing ability. That is why when teachers grade orlook at papers, they need to not think about pointing out every little error or mistake, or tellingstudents how their ideas are unclear and the point they are trying to make is not very strong, butinstead, while doing so, suggest another option or question the student to make them think aboutwhat they have written in a more positive light. This way, students will not feel as if their writingis being attacked and will continue to write with the creative insight that every good written work needs.When many English teachers and scholars alike think of creative writing, many of themthink it is just a silly elective class that is more fun than it is work and writing. But what they
don‟t realize is every piece of work any person writes or has written is creative writing. DavidMcVey even goes as far as saying “…any writing, from the published instructions for using a
power drill to the most esoteric literary poetry, uses the raw materials of language, experience,
knowledge, textual sources, and the author‟s own ideas and imaginings to bring something intoexistence that did not exist before.” (McVey 289).
When we are writing academic research
Cmolik 3papers, in order for them to be great, they require a great deal of creative thinking. When onedecides on the layout or structure of a paper, how they are going to address or argue certainpoints, or even when deciding how each citation or quote from a source is going to flow into thepaper nicely, we are using creative thinking to do so. Even if two different students in the sameclass were presented with a very specific topic for a paper and given the same sources and quotesto use, there papers would turn out completely different because each student would take adifferent creative view on what they were given and argue it in a way unique to them alone. Theywould each be able to give different insights to the material and look at it in different waysbecause of the experiences they each had in life. Creative writing also benefits the student byteaching and giving them the experience and knowledge to be able to relate themselves toanything and everything in the world, which can come in handy in every kind of writing (Everett238). Nancy Welch, a well-
known promoter of creative writing states that “…a rhetorical
education is all about: learning to critically examine and creatively respond to rhetoricalstrategies (including those of image-making, dream-weaving, and storytelling) that writers
(including writers of expository prose) daily rely upon.” (Welch 118).
Richard Lloyd-Jones
counters the importance of creativity being involved in writing by saying that “Those who write
creatively, who produce other than conventional responses need more time, less pressure, and
frequent stimuli to get out of the old rut.”(Lloyd
-Jones 263). But when you think about it, is theresuch thing as a conventional response? Like I have already stated, each response or written work is unique to the writer alone, so if it takes someone a little more time, less pressure, or moreencouragement to write, that is based on simply who the person is, not if they write morecreatively than someone else.

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