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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom

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CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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Chapter Eleven: Information in the Library

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

The Personal Essay Isn’t About You



Having information has always been a source of power. If I know something that you don’t, then I have an advantage; I can manipulate you, control what you know, extort money out of you, and otherwise influence you. Showcasing the expanse of one’s information resources, therefore, also becomes a means of exhibiting cultural power. Nobody likes those who constantly espouse what they know that you don’t know, but the fact is that people are impressed by those who have knowledge.

Information has been passed from person to person since humans merged into communities, but knowledge usually means written artifacts that preserve that information. Written on stones, then on papyrus scrolls, and eventually bound into books, the effort of each of these productions meant that the information had to be valuable. The ease with which information is disseminated on the Internet puts a lot of online text into question; when all can post anything they want, text becomes facile or superficial. Print documents, therefore, remain generally more valuable sources for information than much of what is produced online (though clearly there are outstanding non-print news sources and we will discuss finding those in the next chapter). What information we get and where we get it have become major concerns. All are responsible for verifying what they learn.

In general, as soon as information becomes knowledge it requires safekeeping. Libraries have...

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