Writing Skills Teaching The Test: Research Proposal


Still, the significance of his work for the entire academic community can be gathered from Barlow's uncertainties. Barlow writes that he has searched the literature for an effective way of incorporating both the skills required for students to be good writers and teaching the test. Still he found that "they assume a greater control of the academic environment external to the particular classroom than I, as a part-time teacher, can possibly maintain" (para. 12). Thus, the question becomes, why are such outdated methods of testing still being used when they fly in the face of everything progressive writing teachers are arguing? Why do universities and colleges continue to force basic writing students to pass these tests when professors, like Barlow, continually stress that taking time to teach the test takes away from the teaching methods that they think will most benefit the students? Barlow does not have the answer to this, nor do most teachers of college writing . Still, Barlow's unflinching attempt to teach the test and help the students, in addition to devoting time to developing their skills that he thinks will actually help them in a Composition I course, is admirable. Its significance can be summarized in two sentences: Barlow shoes that universities are still employing inappropriate measures to test beginning students' writing. In addition, Barlow argues that writing teachers can prosper and help their students flourish as real writers even in light of this oppressive situation

Barlow's piece, then, provides new perspectives to the administrator, college professor, and student. Not only does the piece encourage further research regarding standardized tests as measures of college writing,...


Instead, Barlow seems to imply that a good teacher will stand up for his or her students even in the face of harmful academic politics. After reading Barlow's piece, I am persuaded by Barlow's underlying argument that, when it comes to writing, testing is not necessarily the best method of assessment. Writing is a process, requiring steps such as revision, editing, and pre-writing. Students simply do not have time to complete all of these steps when taking a test. In addition, Barlow's article has further convinced me that writing can only be powerful when one has something to say. If students are taught that writing is simply about a formula, such as a five-paragraph theme, a formula needed to pass a test, I do not believe they will ever find that something to say, damaging them and their self-expression for life
Works Cited

Barrow, Aaron. "Leading Writers, Teaching Tests." Basic Writing E-Journal. 5.4 (2004):

41 pars. 12 May 2009

The article's principal thesis.

This paragraph outlines the central arguments of the paragraph and how it relates to the course. Although information about the course was not given to me in the info, I assumed it had something to do with college writing.

This paragraph explains the article's significance for college writers.

Important and my claim that they are unanswered (or open-ended). These questions also show the new insight I have gained from the article.

More discussion of the significance of the article.

I added a bit more here about the new insight gained from the piece.

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