The Age of Essay / reading #5

 Paul Graham:

      Certainly schools should teach students how to write. But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens.

My personal experience backs up Graham’s idea that most writing tasks at school is generally joined with the study of something else such as literature or even history. I did write some essays in history classes, but those were supposed to follow an even more rigid structure than what Graham describes. The structure of classes and school where using writing to fill in the blanks.Writing itself isn’t really being taught. Teachers didn’t really teach you how to write or make an argument, even in English class, there was never a real focus on the writing, no structure of how to write.

Another fact to point out is that when students were asked to write, it was always about subject that didn’t interest them or they found boring. Writing itself isn’t that boring but when associating it to something that you are not necessarily interested in does not make things very interesting.

With this I can definitely agree with Graham and schools need to do a better job of teaching students how to write.