• Video interview with Anne Gere, editor of Developing Writers discussing the applications of the book for students of writing.

Transcript

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    I'm Anne Ruggles Gere and this chapter
    was actually a very late thought.

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    We had collected all the data,
    we had done a lot of the analysis,

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    we were writing chapters.

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    And I began to think we spent so
    much time looking at how

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    students develop as writers but
    what happens afterward?

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    Because I think in general
    the research that has been done

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    on student writing development,
    particularly for college students,

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    has focused just on
    the college period itself.

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    And has not really looked backward to what
    happens, what students bring with them.

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    Or to what shape it takes
    as they move forward.

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    And that was what really
    set this in motion.

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    And everybody else was busy
    working on chapters and I thought,

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    okay, I can do this.

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    And so
    that's what really led to this chapter

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    Everybody's path as a student
    writer is different, and

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    if you've been told that every writer
    should go through these stages.

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    Don't feel in any way inadequate or
    wrong if you haven't done

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    it that way because one of the things
    that we know from this study.

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    We looked at 169 students, and

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    I would say there are 169 different
    ways of developing as a writer.

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    There isn't a single path.

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    And there certainly won't be a single path
    as you move from the university beyond.

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    I think that students need to know that
    the kinds of writers that they become in

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    high school has an affect on the kinds
    of writers they become in college.

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    Which in turn has an affect on

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    the kinds of writers that they
    become as they move forward.

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    So there's a sense of continuity but

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    I would add to that that there
    are also very significant differences.

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    Students who come having done
    very well on the AP exam and

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    assume that they know everything
    there is to know about writing.

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    Often find themselves very surprised and

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    often disappointed and
    even feel betrayed sometimes that

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    they aren't as well-prepared as they
    were expecting themselves to be.

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    And conversely,
    students who come into the university

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    feeling that they aren't
    very well prepared.

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    And are much more willing to learn and

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    absorb from the environment
    actually sometimes do better.

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    So there isn't, again, a clear pattern.

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    Chris, who is one of the students
    that I talk about in this chapter,

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    is a really interesting example
    of a very under-confident writer.

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    She chose to enroll in the Developmental
    Writing Course when she came into

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    the university.

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    Because she felt, as she said in her own
    words, I was very good at science but

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    I did not think of myself as a writer.

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    And she would still say,
    the way she put it is,

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    I'm confident in my
    inabilities as a writer.

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    And yet
    the evolution that she went through as

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    a writer is such a wonderful
    example of how students develop.

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    For her, it was a matter of taking courses
    in philosophy, where she felt that she

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    really learned a way of thinking
    that empowered her writing.

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    And, in particular, empowered her
    writing about science, which I think is

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    fascinating that she was able to take that
    way of thinking and writing in philosophy.

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    And carry it over to to writing grant
    proposals to NSF, and has done it

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    very successfully, has gone on to
    a successful graduate career in science.

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    And has come to appreciate and

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    do well at the fact that she is writing,
    she says,

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    about 50% of the time as
    a graduate student in science.

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    And this is someone who spent much of her
    life, particularly as an undergraduate,

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    saying, I'm not a writing person,
    I'm a scientist.

Interview with Anne Gere: For Students

From Developing Writers in Higher Education: A Longitudinal Study by Anne Ruggles Gere, Editor

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