cited and discussed essay in composition studies: David Bartholomae’s ” Inventing the University.” With this event in mind, I invited Bartholomae to reflect on the. Every time a student sits down to write for us, he has to invent the university for the occasion — invent the university, that is, or a branch of David Bartholomae. In the article “Inventing the University” by David Bartholomae, writes about basic writers problems and when they sit down to write for any class.

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This is where he believes much of the problems students have with writing come from.

So, if a student cannot be a literary critic, they can still engage in understanding and criticizing literature.

His text is divided into three sections. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not onventing published. Bartholomae writes of bringing students more seriously into academic work, yet his own language is scattered liberally with references to artifice, performance, and make-believe.


The third section of the text focuses on examining various selections of student prose, indicating their strengths bartholomwe successes at appropriating convention alongside their failures and errors. He says the writer can then construct what they have to say around a goal they and the reader share. Home Rhetoric and Writing are Everywhere! Bartholomae goes onto say there is two approaches bartuolomae can take while writing.

True, our students are seldom prepared to be fully functional, accomplished literary critics, particularly in a first year writing course. The problem in asking students to take on this role privilege and authority when writing to a professor is that you are asking them to deny the situation in the classroom where the teacher has all the power and the student has very little.

They vartholomae do the becoming, not us. As he observers, often students can mimic the forms of prose without fully understanding those forms.

David Bartholomae

bartholomaf For this to happen they must feel one with their audience as if they were apart of that academic community. Reading and Writing in Theory and Practice. True, if one wishes to enter into a field, one is best served to become familiar with its conventions, history, and frontiers.


In his final section, Bartholomae comes very close—so very close—to saying just what I wish he would say: Therefore, similar to his claims set forth in “Inventing the University,” Bartholomae again suggests that instead of attempting to fix errors via drills and practice sentences, basic writers must learn to understand the code of written discourseand mimic the voice of the language found within the academic community.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:. He brings up that Linda Flower has argued expert writers are better at the reader based prose and can better imagine how a reader will react to their writing and Bartholomae agrees with this. Then there is readers based prose, which is writing with the reader in mind. First, Bartholomae makes much too much, I think of convention, of making students perform, making them think and write the way that the academy—that is, Bartholomae—does.

What we do, the way we do it—these need not all be their ways.

Inventing the University by David Bartholomae | ENGL Spring

Most notably, Bartholomae engaged Peter Elbow in a long public lnventing regarding the role of the university-level student writer. Bartholomaehowever, admits to the difficulty of such a task; in fact, he states it is difficult for basic writers “to take on the role — the voice, the person — of an authority whose authority is rooted in scholarship, analysis, or research” p.

Some will be marked by courses, and in an ideal curriculum the preliminary courses would be writing courses, whether housed in an English department or not. Some of these steps will be marked by drafts and revisions. The solution to this problem, Bartholomae suggests, is for writers to “build bridges” p. As evidenced in Writing Without TeachersElbow’s scholarship suggests that writing belongs to the writer from the beginning, arguing that students learn by writing without teachers — citing diaries, letters, personal narratives, and poems as examples of his theory p.


Learn how your comment data is processed. Much of the written work that students do is test-taking, report or summary — work that places them outside the official discourse of the academic community, where they are expected to admire and report on what we do, rather than inside that discourse, where they can do its work and participate in a common enterprise.

However, there is also room for freshness, innovation, and difference.

However, we are not creating literary critics in our classrooms—especially not in said first year course. Yet, near the end of the chapter, Bartholomae makes a claim that returns me to my objection: Since speaking and writing will be asked of before they actually learn that academic communities information the student must dare to speak the language of the community.

This brings me to my major objection, but before I make it, I must give Bartholomae his defense: In his final section, Bartholomae comes very close—so very close—to saying just what I wish he would say:. The first is for the academic community determine what their conventions are and for them to be barthollmae out.

Bartholomae’s “Inventing the University”

For that matter, what is gained by forcing students to read Bleak Inventingg Therefore, I find it utterly irrelevant whether my students can write as literary critics—or, for that matter, whether they can write like literary critics.

He asserts that the mistakes of basic writers are intentional, catalyzed by a deficient understanding of, and inability to properly identify, how academic language sounds Bartholomae,p. He examines a student writing sample and discusses the moves the student has made, illustrating how the student at times appropriates and at times fails to appropriate convention.

Yet, if we treat student efforts as so much play-acting, then we are not taking them seriously—and if so, how can we ask them to take us seriously?