Research Paper on Literacy
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Example Research Paper on Literacy
Let’s face it, writing is writing and reading is reading to most people. To some people writing and reading are boring, just something they have to do. To those people I say read and write. In this research paper I will let you know what effects this will have on your life. Literacy is a growing process, as we are. It starts out confusing and strange and then it eventually develops into interesting and fun.
Remember way back to when you were little, you would say any word that you could think of. If it didn’t make sense, who cared at least you were learning new words. This started you learning literacy. You were compiling new phrases and sentences before you even knew what “phrases” and “sentences” meant. Remember how it felt when your parents would praise you for just saying a word correct. As you finish reading this paper, keep that one feeling in mind and never let it go.
As you moved through the years, literacy didn’t get any easier. You went from reading tiny books to these big books that looked like the pages would never end. Wasn’t that a great moment, finally being able to read the things that big kids read. But the thing you couldn’t understand is why you were reading these books. “Entrances to our future,” as one of my teachers would say. These books eventually helped us to get ideas and examples which would soon help our writing.
“Real” writing really doesn’t begin until we got to be teenagers. What I mean by “real” writing is; writing that gets us into all the funny details of literacy. You know those strange funny details that you never had to worry about in elementary school. Those things that took extra time to think about, but really had a big effect on your paper. Teachers would always mark in extra commas or semi colons when you used them wrong or even forgot one. From here you would elaborate sentences, make them the strongest sentences in the world. They could stand up to anything, even that red pen. You were not afraid to say what was written on the page of that good book. The only trick was to emphasize what you were saying.
As you got older, of course the writings became tougher. Things would seem to repeat themselves over and over. No matter what you did you could never get literacy right. Your papers now seemed to have more depth. You knew how to write and what to write, but the hard part was separating when to do which. You could obviously see that you were better at writing now. Your papers were not only full of information from pages of a book, now they were full of thoughts from your mind. You would think of new and extraordinary things that would just seem to fit right together. You even used your past as examples in you papers. The writing would never stop.
Through these times of learning your literacy got stronger. What was scary and tough about literacy was now easy. You grew as a person and your literacy rate sky- rocketed. You learned to appreciate what all those writers were talking about in the past and you appreciated your writing more. Literacy is not a process that comes to you over night; you have to work hard and try to succeed in it. You learned this just like all the great writers in the past have, by practice.
Malcolm X found out how tough literacy was in jail. He taught himself everything he knew about literacy. Everything from the small details that made no sense to the big complex words that no one else knew. The most amazing part was that he did this when he was in his twenties in jail. He didn’t have anyone to praise him for using new words or figuring out new sentences. It was him alone in his cell that made him interested in literacy. His hope that one day he would be able to go about and understand what other people where trying to say that he never understood before. All he needed was one person to believe in him and that was himself. Having people believe in you is sometimes the key to a healthy literacy, as Mike Rose found out.
Mike Rose knew he was special. Rose was gifted in a way that we all would love to have been granted. He could write and write well. He didn’t realize his gift though, until high school. That is, when a teacher pointed out that he could do it. This teacher, Jack McFarland, got Rose to read. Not just read, but really read and understand what he was reading. This teacher also got his creativity wheels going and got Rose to write like he has never written before. That is in a way that Rose would have confidence in what he was doing and saying. Mr. McFarland gave Rose one of the greatest gifts possible, the gift of belief. His belief in Rose helped him succeed in his writings.
Min-zhan Lu was also another writer that wrote about her struggle with literacy. Hers was different though, she had to fight to be literate in two different languages. “I made sentences…with both English lyric and the classic Chinese lyric…” (Lu, 35) Her school was one part of her life, which means one teaching of literacy. While her home was the other part that had a whole different set of rules regarding literacy. Lu learned to
work out her conflict with the intermingling languages, as she became successful in both languages. Lu considered each language a new adventure that she had to go on everyday. She was lucky to be able to share both forms of literacy.
Malcolm X, Mike Rose, and Min-zhan Lu were just three of many examples of people who were brought up with different views on writing and literacy. The literacy process grew with them as they got more into their writing. This strange and confusing process that is so hard shaped their lives. Helped them live through writing and guided them to the right answers. They showed us that literacy is not as tough as it looks. When you think its tough take a deeper look at your paper that is where the answer will be.