Basic writing is about developing the written communication skills of students who may lag behind their peers for a variety of reasons. In particular, the focus of this discipline is usually on underprepared upper first-year college students who may need some help to develop their writing skills. Numerous theorists began to develop approaches to teaching basic writing in the United States in the 1970s when college attendance began to rise (Horner, 1996). At that time, many colleges and universities were faced with a flood of English language learners who did not have the same skills as their peers (Adler-Kassner & Harrington, 2002). Causes of underachievement can vary, such as not doing well enough in college or high school or cognitive impairments that interfere with learning.
In basic writing courses, teachers learn English from scratch by discussing the basics of formal written English. Moreover, they help their students develop skills in written English. Over time, trainees learn to produce increasingly complex writing pieces, including essays, responses to questions about the text they have read, and other assignments requiring high writing proficiency. Terms such as remedial education are no longer widely used for this type of English education because of their negative associations (Otte & Mlynarczyk, 2010a). Instead, the emphasis is on developing students’ skills for successful adjustment to the outside world (Otte & Mlynarczyk, 2010b). Mina Shaughnessy believed that basic writing methodology should be encouraged as a separate area of study and research (Ritter, 2008). The analyzed approach to learning can bring positive results to the educational process (Otte & Mlynarczyk, 2010a). Its implementation has proven to reduce illiteracy, reduce the stigmatization of students, and make education more accessible.
Adler-Kassner, L. & Harrington, S. (2002). Who are basic writing students? In Basic writing as a political act: Public conversations about writing and literacies, 15-20.
Horner, B. (1996). Discoursing basic writing. College Composition and Communication 47(2), 199-222. Web.
Otte, G. & Mlynarczyk, R.W. (2010a). Defining basic writing and basic writers. In Basic writing, 41-77.
Otte, G. & Mlynarczyk, R. W. (2010b). Historical overview. In Basic writing, 3-40.
Ritter, K. (2008). Before Mina Shaughnessy: Basic writing at Yale, 1920-1960. College Composition and Communication, 60(1), 12-45.