ERIC Number: ED219785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
"Can I Write About My Life?" The Research Paper and the Inexperienced Writer.
MacDonald, Susan Peck
Inexperienced writers can become inspired researchers when they are allowed and encouraged to write about what matters to them. The traditional research paper assignment inflicts torture on students in two ways: (1) by the process it demands--basically a frenzied series of new learning tasks; and (2) by the mystery surrounding its codes--rarely do students know why certain procedures and conventions are important or even who their real audience is. Work with two sets of students in university level Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) rhetoric classes bears out these observations. One set of students worked on research topics triggered by personal experience, most often problems related to their minority backgrounds. The other set worked on topics developed through a more traditional, impersonal approach to the research paper, but even some of these students managed to create more interesting papers by injecting some elements of their personalities into the process. The experience of these students seems to indicate that inexperienced writers can discover for themselves the true process of academic research if they are allowed to bring personal commitment--and therefore a true purpose and sense of audience--to their work. (JL)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Awareness; Research Papers (Students)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).