The main focus of my essay is the lack of creativity encouraged in writing. I touch upon the way writing is taught to students in the academic atmosphere and what the outcome of these teachings leads to. My introductory paragraph created a strong opening for my topic which was very satisfactory to me. However, as a writer I must improve my ability to build evidence and develop my larger idea.
I am a literary impostor. Of course I know how to write a traditional academic essay, I am not discounting this skill. Yet I struggle with the ability to insert individuality into my writing. This is why I feel that I am not truly a literary for one aspect of being a writer is to project personal thoughts. I feel that this struggle is mutual among my classmates, whether they recognize it or not. At my previous school the students obtaining honor roll could produce a mediocre essay including a vocabulary pull from the seventh grade and thematic cliches, but with the use of the traditional academic format, thrill the teachers and gain an A. When students are praised for this type of product time and time again, their writing will never evolve since personal exploration is never encouraged. In this way students of the 21st century are being raised as literary robots, defeating a fundamental objective of writing.
Reflecting on my literary education, I have concluded it to be very simplistic and sparse. In elementary school the format of a paragraph was first introduced to me through the “hamburger paragraph”, a diagram that illustrates a paragraph’s construction. As elementary school progressed, we worked on strengthening our skills in creating paragraphs using other systems such as TAGS. Up to that point I was successfully advancing with the curriculum. However, the change of school in fifth grade took a toll on my growth in literacy. Throughout middle school writing was treated by the teachers as a minor aspect, as if it were self explanatory. I remember constructing paragraphs for assignments to be a very step-oriented process. Upon beginning high school I carried with me that process, it being the only thing I knew. Every paper I produced seemed to be comparable to the previous, just shedding light on a different topic. No teacher came to the rescue for it appeared that since I knew the traditional academic formatting all was well. Yet I felt worn from the repetition of spewing the same ideas with no distinction from one to the next.
The bud of the problem is that when the format of a paragraph is taught, there is no elaboration on content and construction. With no guidance students may assume that the format of a paragraph is the basic knowledge needed to complete an essay, unintentionally disregarding the composition. These circumstances could result in a plethora of identical essays. When students are not taught to imply individuality, the same set of ideas tend to be recycled throughout their paper without any progression. This can create an exhausting and mundane atmosphere for the writer, causing them to lose interest in their topic. In his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire stated that “it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” Freire’s statement is similar to mine in which he touches upon the detachment people have developed through education, which includes literacy in relation to their creativity. With the absence of creativity there is hardly any chance at inserting individuality, giving the produced writing more of mechanical quality with no personal essence.
I sit in front of my computer willing my fingers to type, yet they won’t budge. For an hour and a half I have been staring at a blank page, chasing tantalizing thoughts that dissolve before I can manage to type out a coherent sentence. Another year of tenth grade would not have prepared me for the writing assignment given on the first day of school, for I have never been given such loose guidelines. Teachers were always so exact about what they wanted. Now for the first time I am given the control to have creative ownership over my work, something I have longed for greatly and there is an emptiness. My ideas are missing in action. So I turn to my alternative, using the guidelines given and applying the basic paragraph format. The instance I describe is not a past dilemma, this conflict occurs daily. The fact that I share this problem with fellow students is alarming for the reason that many are unaware. Even more alarming is the fact that some educators deem it acceptable to not expand past the basic paragraph formatting. Writing is an art that captures opinion, personality, and soul propelled by the creativity and individuality of the mind as well as source of analytical text. If writing is further encouraged in this way, new ideas will cease to be produced, and the art of writing will become a myth.
Freire, Paulo. "Philosophy of Education -- Chapter 2: Pedagogy of the Oppressed." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://faculty.webster.edu/corbetre/philosophy/education/freire/freire-2.html>.