Blog on Bartholomae: 10/27/2014

In Bartholomae’s “Inventing the University”, found at, Bartholomae discusses the writing of college students. Bartholomae argues that most college level students are “basic writers”, and that a student must learn to be an “insider”, one who understands what type of writing is expected of them at the university level and is able to mimic the style in their own writing.

Bartholomae’s article is intended for an audience of teachers. He is saying that the students must learn to basically please their teachers by writing as they do and with the same language and style.

With my future field being accounting, I am going to have to learn many advanced terms that most of my clients will not understand. Most accountants are perceived as manipulators because of this. I believe that a better way to communicate with the client would be to help them fully understand everything I tell them and to explain it on terms that they would actually understand. The relationship with my clients would then become greater because they would feel that they could trust me. Customer relations is important in almost all fields. However, I must also know the advanced terms as an accountant. I will need them when consulting with my colleagues, or in meetings with my supervisors and other higher officials in my firm. If I were to speak to them with simpler terms I would not be taken as seriously, and may be perceived as not as intelligent. Since they, too, would know the same accounting terms, it would be best to use them when talking with other accountants to create a more educated sort of atmosphere. I believe that a good accountant would be able to properly communicate with those who are and those who are not familiar with the terms in my field.

I am setting goals, as you might say, for what I need to do in the next four years in order to become the best me I can be in my field. Having read Bartholomae’s article, I feel like I better understand the message he addressed. In order to be successful I am going to have to understand what is expected of me and how to recreate the expectations in my own work. I would personally argue that this could be the key to school. The quicker you learn to give them what they want, the faster you will succeed. You must learn to be an insider and be able to speak the language and style that your teachers expect from you.

Growing up I was taught that there was one way to write an essay and one way only. It was MLA format. Specific points had to go in specific spots, thing had to sound a certain way, and certain language had to be used. While I agree with teaching that way, I do not agree that it should be the only thing that was embedded into my young mind. Once I got to college, I learned that there are many ways to do the same thing. Each professor is going to be different and expect different things. It is not as important to learn to write the way an English teacher writes, for that will not help me be a more successful accountant. I need to learn what accountants do. How they write and how I can become better at that. I need to learn about my future and how I can succeed after I walk across the stage in four years; not how I can succeed in writing as an English teacher.

This whole aspect of school was not even brought to my attention until I took Professor Griffiths ENG 121 class. I never realized that students would each need to write in different ways, and she wants us to write that way versus all of us writing in the same unhelpful way.


My Writing Process 10/19/2014


My latest writing piece was an essay about the type of writing that I will find in my future field of accounting.  Even further into the matter, I was prompted with a follow up to describe and illustrate the way in which I wrote my essay. In “Chronotopic Lamination: Tracing the Contours of Literate Activity” by Paul Prior and Jody Shipka, the idea of the writing process is greatly explored. “The first picture should represent how you actually engaged in writing this particular piece. That picture might show a place or places where you wrote, a kind of sustained episode of writing, what resources you use, other people whoa re involved, how you vary your activities as you engage in a  specific episode of writing, how you feel during the writing” p(182). In response, I drew my illustration, as show above, to the proposed directions.

First, I attempted to find articles about a topic of debate within my future field. After looking in the wrong places, my professor helped me learn where exactly to look. I then browsed through many articles before I found two on the same topic that I believed I could write an amazing essay on. They were both about fair value accounting. I then had the basis for my essay, and I read and reread and reread my articles and highlighted important pieces which I thought would be beneficiary.


“The second picture should represent the whole writing process for this project from start to finish (or to the current stage). The picture might show how this writing project got started, interactions with other people and other texts, experiences that have shaped the project over time, the history of drafts and responses to the drafts, your evaluations of and emotions about this project at different times and so forth” p(182). Once I knew the topic that I was going to write about, it was time to get started.

Sitting down with a classmate, we discussed what we each thought the professor had wanted from us, and we quickly realized that we had no idea. After emailing the professor we had a general idea and were both able to start writing. Being able to brainstorm with a classmate helped each of us view each other’s points and ideas. I believe that this greatly aided each of our writing pieces. After procrastinating on writing my first draft, it was the night before it was due. Typical college student right there. Anyways, I bribed myself by saying that as soon as I was done, I could go eat. Hungry, I was motivated to actually write my paper. I wrote a general sentence for each of the following; opening sentence, thesis, each body paragraph assertion, each general idea within those body paragraphs, closing summary sentences for each, a restated thesis, and a closing line. Satisfied with myself, I called it a wrap and went to dinner. The next day, before class, I read over my outline to ensure that it flowed correctly. We had a peer revision day where I was able to see other papers, and to get feedback from my peers on my work. I then felt that I understood the assignment more and was ready to add onto my paper.

Between sleeping, watching tv, eating, other homework, and other such activities, I slowly worked upon my second draft a little at a time. I expanded on each sentence I had previously had, and I also changed a few ideas. By the end of the night I was done, and I had the entire next day not to worry about my paper. After the next peer revision day in class, my paper had seen dramatic changes in comparison to the first draft. I did not touch my essay the day after those peer revisions. I gave myself time to be away from my paper and to think about it. In the next couple of days I slowly worked on transforming my paper into my final draft. I added more detail to some ideas, had my roommates read my paper, and read the paper aloud to myself. Of course, these actions were sporadic between meals, sleep, showers, other homework, classes, and other such activities, for that is how I work best. At the end, I turned my paper in early and then let it slip out of my thoughts. It was finally over and I was pleased with my work. This was my writing process.

Blog 10/1/14: EMU Faculty in Accounting

At a list of faculty that are involved in accounting here at Eastern Michigan University is readily available.

While the faculty teach accounting classes downtown at the College of Business, many, if not most, do work beyond the classroom. Many post in business journals as well as accounting journals. Some have their own entries, while others collaborate with other authors to develop an entry. I would assume that all of the accounting faculty do research that relates to accounting. While some may have pieces in books and papers.

Linda J. Burilovich, for example, has had frequent work in “The Tax Advisor” volumes.

The work of these professors relates to the article I have been working with. The article I have been working with focus on fair value accounting. The faculty here at EMU show me that there are many topics in my field that are always being discussed. The topics are not limited to fair value accounting. There will always be new trends, ideas, and research in my field.

In my field of accounting, my largest current question would be what does the future of accounting practices look like? What processes are not working currently? What needs to be fixed? What ideas are being figured out in today’s accounting world?

With these questions in mind, my interest in accounting grows greatly. What can I make of myself in the field? What can I do to help accounting grow and prosper?

I know I have a long ways to go in my education, but I am excited to one day be in a firm helping others and becoming a better accountant each and every day, just as the faculty here at EMU does daily.