Blogs vs. Term Papers
The format — meant to force students to make a point, explain it, defend it, repeat it (whether in 20 pages or 5 paragraphs) — feels to many like a fitness in rigidity and boredom, like practicing piano scales in a key that is minor.
Her provocative positions have lent kindling to an intensifying debate about how exactly best to teach writing in the era that is digital.
“This mechanistic writing is an actual disincentive to creative but untrained writers,” says Professor Davidson, who rails from the form in her own new book, “Now The truth is It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn.”
“As a writer, it offends me deeply.”
Professor Davidson makes heavy use of the blog and the ethos it represents of public, interactive discourse. In the place of writing a quarterly term paper, students now regularly publish 500- to 1,500-word entries on an internal class blog about the issues and readings these are typically studying in class, along with essays for public consumption.Continue Reading..