Quick Write

What is the difference between writing in high school and writing in college?

The Conversation

We have already learned two important concepts:

  • Literacy
  • Writing Process

The third concept is the metaphor of the conversation. What we are studying now, has a long history. People have been writing and researching everything you can think of.

For example, the conversation on how to speak well goes back a couple thousand years to Aristotle, Plato, and others that came before.

How does this relate to writing?

Everything you will write about from now on, needs to be based in a conversation. A scholarly one, a scientific one, a popular one. To know what has been said before, you need to read and research. Why does this matter?

Burke’s “Unending Conversation” Metaphor

Kenneth Burke writes:

Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally’s assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress.



Journals from now on should begin with a summary of the reading. Pick a point or topic to summarize. Chapter 2, which we are reading for next class, explains how to summarize and gives so tips. After reading chapter 2, summarize the reading Cullington, “Does Texting Affect Writing?”

Sample Literacy Narratives

“They Say”

Chapter 1 argues that good academic writing responds to what others are saying. What “They Say” is important to include in academic writing and is one way we can include the conversation when we write. The chapter includes templates for introducing standard views, implied or assumed and ongoing debates.

Why do you think this is important?

Entering the Conversation

The introduction to the textbook, page 1, explains that the book relies on templates to help us do the basic moves of writing. The templates are guides that when used help us to structure and generate our own writing. We will talk a lot about approaches to writing and how to think about writing, as well as use the templates provided to help us practice the principles of writing.

State your own ideas as a response to others. You are just entering a conversation that has been going on for thousands of years. You are not expected to know everything, but you are expected to begin to understand what others have said before and how to find it.


To argue means more than just stating your own position. To argue you need to enter into a conversation with others views. Then you can try to convince others of your position or just to see your position as valid.

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Where does Carr include the conversation in his article?

Nicholas Carr


Is Google making us Stupid? Carr argues that the internet affects our cognitive capacities, diminishing out ability to concentrate and to learn.

Take two minutes and write something to share with the class.

Why does Carr begin with lines from 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Literacy Moment

You should begin to narrow down the literacy you are interested in writing about. To get us thinking about that literacy, pick a scene related to it from your past experience. It can be in the car with your dad, it can be sitting on your mom’s lap reading a book, etc. Pick one scene and draw it out on a piece of paper. Use the full page, add as much detail as you can remember.

Share your drawing with a neighbor. Tell them about the moment and the literacy. What you just shared with your neighbor, write it down. Keep it short, one to two paragraphs.

Quick Write

In your own words, what is the Conversation?



Bullying is unwanted and aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power and is repeated.

There are three characteristics to bullying:

  1. unwanted and aggressive behavior
  2. an imbalance of power
  3. and is repeated.