A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital by Dennis Baron PDF

By Dennis Baron

ISBN-10: 0195388445

ISBN-13: 9780195388442

Pcs, now the writer's software of selection, are nonetheless blamed by means of skeptics for various ills, from rushing writing as much as the purpose of recklessness, to complicating or trivializing the writing method, to destroying the English language itself.

A higher Pencil places our advanced, still-evolving hate-love dating with pcs and the net into point of view, describing how the electronic revolution impacts our analyzing and writing practices, and the way the most recent applied sciences fluctuate from what got here sooner than. The booklet explores our use of pcs as writing instruments in gentle of the background of conversation expertise, a background of the way we like, worry, and really use our writing technologies--not simply desktops, but additionally typewriters, pencils, and clay pills. Dennis Baron exhibits that almost all writing implements--and even writing itself--were greeted at the beginning with anxiousness and outrage: the printing press disrupted the "almost non secular connection" among the author and the web page; the typewriter used to be "impersonal and noisy" and could "destroy the artwork of handwriting." either pencils and pcs have been created for initiatives that had not anything to do with writing. Pencils, crafted by way of woodworkers for marking up their forums, have been quick repurposed through writers and artists. the pc crunched numbers, now not phrases, until eventually writers observed it because the subsequent writing computing device. Baron additionally explores the hot genres that the pc has introduced: electronic mail, the moment message, the net web page, the weblog, social-networking pages like MySpace and fb, and communally-generated texts like Wikipedia and the city Dictionary, let alone YouTube.

Here then is an engaging heritage of our tangled dealings with quite a lot of writing tools, from historical papyrus to the fashionable machine. With dozens of illustrations and lots of colourful anecdotes, the ebook will enthrall a person drawn to language, literacy, or writing.

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Additional info for A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution

Example text

She gave her students a series of interview questions to which they were to add at least three questions of their own. Then she modeled an interview for them, had them interview each other about one of their freshman composition essays, and arranged times for them to meet with Sherman's and Breihan's students. Although we were aware that the usefulness of interview data produced by unskilled interviewers would be limited, we did get frank responses from the history and the business students and a valuable sample of student-to-student language.

This is to be expected, since our students were trained only briefly and worked with no researcher present. From some students, we got only glimpses of their processes when we wished we could have had a steady gaze; for example, some were thinking aloud on tape when, just as things were getting interesting, they turned the recorder off. We then got from many of those students a summary of what we had missed, which they recorded later. Moreover, there were some students who never produced concurrent thoughts or useful introspection, but rather said aloud on tape only the words they were writing on the page.

2. In the business, history, and psychology classes, 100 percent of students submitted some usable data. In the biology class 85 percent of the students did so. Students' Logs From all students, we requested a writing log in which they would record their activities and their thinking as they worked on the assignment. Activities included planning, gathering information, reading, note making, consulting with other people, drafting, and revising. Sherman's business students and Breihan's history students were asked to keep logs for the entire semester because we were tracking student development in their classes.

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A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution by Dennis Baron

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