ERIC Number: ED348671
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May-1
Reference Count: N/A
Collaborative Ghost Writing.
An exercise in ghostwriting--a process where the reader completes a section of the text in the reader's head based on clues in the text--was used in freshman composition and upper-level composition classes to get students to concentrate on their reading processes. In this assignment, a short story was chosen from which different portions of the text were deleted. Each group received a copy of Raymond Carver's "The Bath" minus one full section, and were instructed to write a ghost chapter that would restore the short story to a coherent whole. Later, the new sections were pasted together. The task of physically writing the ghost chapter forced the students to read slowly and carefully, to notice which techniques were being used, and to wonder why. When the students met to write their ghost chapters, their discussions were heated and intense. Often they had trouble relating to Carver's characters, his tone, and the plot. In addition, students had a hard time with the ambiguous ending, and often tried to resolve it in their discussions and writing. The ghost chapter assignment provided an exaggeration of an everyday scenario, and taught the students that the role of the reader is actually that of a second writer; the first writer gives the artifacts that constitute the text, the second interprets those artifacts, filling in the missing pieces. They learned that if they read thoughtlessly, they failed to engage with or complete the text, therefore that text remained unfinished. (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ghostwriting; Narrative Text
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on Computers and Writing (8th, Indianapolis, IN, May 1-3, 1992).