Writing and Information Competency in Small Bytes

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Judge the product and the process

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The last step in the process is to print the paper and take a look at what you have done. Does the paper meet your essential rhetorical need? Give your paper a final reading. Does it conform to what the professor asked you to do on the assignment? Is the style appropriate for a university paper? Does your paper really represent the best work you can do? If the answers are positive to these sorts of questions, then you are ready to turn the paper into your professor.

You should also reflect back on what you have done in terms of process. What problems did you encounter? Think about how you can avoid them in the future. What new approaches did you learn?

Ultimately, it is your own pride and opinion of your work that will be of value to you. Your professors will grade your work. They will offer some of their appraisals and suggestions for improving your work. But the highest goal of education is that you have the ability to judge your own work confidently and competently.

Recall my story about the student who told me that my comment had changed his life. Did it? Well, his grades did go up and he generated a lot of enthusiasm for his education. He went on to graduate school, did excellently in these studies, and became a superb professional in the field of counseling. I don't think my comment did any more than cause him to recognize how valuable his own insights and opinions are. He felt he had to suppress that in his writing and he didn't feel pride in his work. He always wrote well in terms of composition mechanics, so to speak, but he knew there was something missing. I think my comment to him just opened the opportunity for him to recognize his own self-worth and potentials.

I would like to close with a quotation from Carl Rogers, one of the great psychologists and teachers of the 20th Century: "What you are to be, you are now becoming." You have a capacity for greatness. All in the university strongly believe our highest purpose is to help you develop that capacity. Teachers, administrators, staff, secretaries--everyone in the university is dedicated to helping your grow and develop.

But, you know, it is up to you. What are you becoming?

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fstlogo.gif (4428 bytes) Writing and Information Competency in Small Bytes
John A. Cagle, Ph.D.
Summer Bridge Program
California State University, Fresno

1998 by John A. Cagle, Professor of Communication, California State University, Fresno.

This information competency website was designed by John A. Cagle (Department of Communication) and Ross LaBaugh (Librarian) as part of a grant from the California State University.  It continues to be under construction.