In my group’s reading for this week, “Toward a Composing Model of Reading,” I really liked that the piece was straightforward and provided actual examples of what it was trying to convey through comments from readers and writers in different situations. The reading starts off very openly with the authors’ viewpoints on reading and writing, saying “at the heart of understanding reading and writing connections one must begin to view reading and writing as essentially similar processes of meaning construction.” Being a pretty dense piece of writing at times, I appreciated the way that the information (very organized and analytical ideas about planning, drafting, aligning, revising and monitoring) was set up and utilized.
Some key points from the reading that stuck out to me:
1. “A reader might scan the text as a way of fine tuning the range of knowledge and goals to engage, creating a kind of a “draft” reading of the text.” Under the topic of planning, I had never considered the role that a reader plays in terms of understanding reading through prior planning. I think it’s really interesting how previous knowledge and perceptions go into creating meaning in a piece — a very different interpretation of planning than a writer might be considering, which usually deals more with structure and organization of text instead of personal mental collection.
2. “What drives reading and writing is this desire to make sense of what is happening–to make things cohere.” What I think this piece does a great job of is helping its audience to understand more of the similarities and connections between reading and writing and the processes that go along with it. And I really do agree that readers and writers usually read or write to gain clarity, to make sense of something that is happening through mental stimulation. Writers may challenge ideas through writing, and readers can develop and challenge stances based on responses and analysis of writing processes. Either way, they want to make sense of something through text.
3. Also, I thought that the concept of “aligning” was interesting to think about in terms of both reading and writing. The thought I immediately had when beginning to read this section was the rhetorical concept of “pathos” or emotional appeal, and this certainly plays into that idea. Aligning goes both ways however, in both the writer trying to relate to his or her audience as well as the reader aligning themselves with interactive thoughts and sympathies throughout a text. It’s a two way street, and (at least for me) has gotten me thinking more so about how alignment could play a part in perceptions of my writing in the future.
While I was a little unsure about this reading beforehand, I actually think that I got some interesting information out of it! Reading and writing are both very interactive processes — more than I had actually imagined!