• Video interview with Anna Knutson, author of Developing Writers chapter seven, discussing the applications of her chapter for students of writing.

Transcript

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    My name's Anna Knutson.

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    I am a newly minted PhD from
    the University of Michigan.

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    I'm starting a position currently
    as assistant professor of

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    literature and language and
    the director of composition at

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    East Tennessee State University I

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    would just say that everyone gets
    freaked out when they try to learn how

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    to write something new, right.

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    I think that would be the biggest
    takeaway is that every context you

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    try to adapt to as a writer
    is going to be different.

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    And that it might be
    a little scary sometimes but

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    that there are ways of overcoming it.

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    And I think just admiring her resilience,
    and trying to draw inspiration from that.

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    And also to really know that you can
    cobble together difference resources

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    even when the curriculum you're
    faced with seems insurmountable,

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    [LAUGH] that there are other
    ways of getting around it.

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    I'm a huge fan of giving students
    opportunities to write for

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    different purposes and different contexts,
    and to reflect on the different types of

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    writing they're already
    doing in their lives, right?

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    So we know that students
    are switching between tons of

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    different types of writing
    in their everyday lives.

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    But they might not think about
    the writing that they're doing outside of

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    the classroom, for example, is writing.

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    So helping them realize that when
    you are texting your friends,

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    when you're emailing your grandma when
    you're writing a shopping list that you

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    are tailoring your writing style
    to meet different purposes.

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    That might help them realize
    that what we want them to do,

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    in terms of adapting to
    different rhetorical situations,

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    they're already doing, but they might
    not be as aware of it as they could be.

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    So just supporting them in making
    transitions across contexts.

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    We know that sometimes students hit
    a wall, when they come into college,

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    especially if they feel like they
    really mastered writing in high school.

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    So we know that, but we have fewer studies
    documenting how that plays out over time,

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    right, how they then adapt to
    college writing if at all.

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    I think sometimes when
    I read those studies,

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    I walk away going are these
    students just lost?

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    Are they ever going to adapt?

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    Do the every adapt, right?

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    Hopefully they do.

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    So what Grace shows us is that
    students can find really interesting

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    pathways to overcome those
    sets of challenges, and

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    that they can find their way,
    even if they're lost at first.

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    I really wanted to highlight that she was
    someone who faced some really serious

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    challenges entering college.

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    But that she really found a kind of
    nonlinear way to overcome her challenges,

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    and to highlight that even
    if we look at students and

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    they seem to be on the surface,
    really struggling,

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    that they might be doing some really
    resourceful things behind the scenes.

Interview with Anna Knutson: For Students

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

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  • Education:Higher Education
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