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  1. 1. “error”<br />
  2. 2. Some common definitions… (from<br />a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake, as in action or speech<br /> the act or instance of deviating from an accepted code of behavior<br />belief in something untrue; the holding of mistaken opinions<br />Synonyms: blunder, slip, oversight, mistake, fault, transgression, trespass, misdeed<br />
  3. 3. Error is originally looked at as…<br />negative<br />It is distinguished by its divergence from standard dialect (rather than taking into consideration issues like tone, audience, ethos, etc.) <br />In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the teaching of writing is “dominated by an ideal of superficial correctness, of conformity to rules chiefly for the sake of conformity”<br /> -Albert R. Kitzhaber<br />This type attention to surface-level deviations as indicators of poor writing is enhanced by Harvard entrance examinations in English<br />
  4. 4. continued…<br />1882- L. B. R. Briggs fully equates “bad English” with “ungrammatical” English<br />1963- James W. Ney finds error to be a “sentence-level” problem<br />1990- Gary Sloan bases his definition of error on the guidance of grammar handbooks<br />This view of error at a sentence level rather than at a content level stems from the fact that it is easier to count sentence-level errors as opposed to structural ones<br /> -Gary Sloan and the frequency of error<br />
  5. 5. The mid-century brings about a shift from exclusively looking at sentence-level turbulence<br />Although the idea of error still concerns images of unconventional grammar, spelling, and punctuation, student writing is now examined as a rhetorical device with the teacher as the responsive audience<br />
  6. 6. Mina Shaughnessy’sErrors and Expectations<br />Advocates for exploring student errors and making them the subject of inquiry “in order to determine at what point or points along the developmental path error should or can become the subject of instruction”<br />Error-analysis: errors are anomalies—Shaughnessy delves into the course of action centered around the reason for errors<br />based on Piaget’s view that learning spawns a system of errors or “signals” of the learners way of coping with new challenges<br />
  7. 7. Perceptions of error and the effect of Mina Shaughnessy’sErrors and Expectations<br />After:<br />The “guiding metaphor of error was transformed”<br />Scholars began to deal more fully with the political issues of student diversity and open admissions<br />Before:<br />Error as an occurrence that draws attention to itself because it lies outside the bounds of acceptability<br />Error used primarily in a pejorative sense<br />Error is to be avoided: the teaching of writing intends to eradicate all error<br />
  8. 8. More views on error<br />Barry M. Kroll and John C. Shafer – error as a point of inquiry<br />They mark a shift from product-oriented to process-oriented remedies for error<br />Errors as “windows to the mind” of the writer—each type of error is a useful starting point in discovering which linguistic strategies led to the error<br />Error is better understood as a manifestation of rhetorical intention<br />David Bartholomae<br />“an error…can only be understood as evidence of intention and, thus , an indication of control”<br />Gary Sloan<br />“the gap between prescription and practice make the word ‘error’ something of a misnomer. A number of the ‘errors’…are perhaps better viewed as manifestations of rhetorical choice”<br />
  9. 9. Sydney Greenbaum and John Taylor<br />Muriel Harris and Tony Silva<br />Three categories of error:<br />“clearly unacceptable”<br />“divided usage”<br />“clearly acceptable”<br />Global errors <br />surface features that interfere with the intended audiences reading of a text<br />Local errors<br />surface features that do not interfere even though they defy convention<br />Some scholars have attempted to delineate among kinds or degrees of error<br />
  10. 10. Joseph M. Williamson<br /><ul><li>Correlates the dissonance created by grammatical and usage errors with that of social errors
  11. 11. He suggests “turning our attention from error as a discrete entity, frozen at the moment of its commision, so error as a part of a flawed transaction”
  12. 12. Great diversity of error and in the feelings associated with different categories of error
  13. 13. “the categories of error all seem like they should be yes-no, but the feeling associated with the categories seem much more complex”
  14. 14. Error occurs in the interaction of the writer, the reader, and the formulators of handbooks</li></li></ul><li>Error is not independent<br />Robert J. Connors and Andrea A. Lunsford – errors depend on the interaction the writer and the reader and this interaction changes according to the historical context<br />Min-Zhan Lu – the social epistemic quality of error<br />Writing conventions are not fixed in stone– they are not constant through the ages nor are they constant over various situations<br />Students must be taught how to operate within these conventions in order to succeed in their particular writing situations<br />Error is an inherently relative and localized phenomenon<br />
  15. 15. Thoughts on “error”<br />It is important to realize that error is a relative term. Therefore when handling teaching and instruction with respect to error, the differing theories must be kept in mind. <br />Grammatical and surface-level errors are obviously the most easily recognized when editing a paper but it should be kept in mind, by both the writer and the editor/teacher that there may be errors in the content too.<br />In my opinion error should not be viewed as completely negative but neither should it be dismissed. The teacher should, however, when addressing a students error, make sure that they explain the reason for its being considered an error.<br />