Writing, most of the time, seems like second nature to me at this point. Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case. In high school, writing a paper was dangerously formulaic, and the assignments were brief. When I came to college, I was met with my first assignment that didn’t quite match up to the shallow template provided to me in my high school English classes. Instead of the standard five paragraph essay that was simply about something, I had to write an argumentative piece about 10 pages long. It was intimidating with the lack of writing instruction that was provided to me in high school, even though my English courses were Honors-AP.
From my experience at my university working with student writers over the years, I have noticed that many students, and not just freshmen, do not know hot to properly compose an argumentative piece or do not understand many writing conventions that most professors reasonably expect them to have acquired in high school.
Composition classes saved me, but I had a knack for language that made writing come a bit more easily.
To talk about this issue, I could interview high school students, teachers, composition professors, and current student writers at the university. I could research using databases to find scholarly articles published by professors and high school teachers as well. Searching for printed works on the issue is a possibility as well, though not ideal.To write an opinion piece on the issue, I would explain the issue first. Then, I would provide my thoughts on the issue and how I think it could be improved. In a narrative version of this piece, I would possibly tell a story of a particular student’s experience in the area of composition struggles. In a magazine article on this issue, I might try an angle about the PSSAs that many students have taken recently, and how they are potentially not an accurate measurement of students’ writing ability at the college level and beyond.
An opinion piece would be much easier to write, but it would be limited by my lack of experience compared to, say, a professor or someone with higher qualifications to talk about writing and students’ abilities. A narrative would be entertaining, though it would be too isolated to make enough of a statement about the issue. The magazine article would be a great way to combine some elements from all of them while appealing to something relevant to a larger audience.