ERIC Number: ED348672
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Autobiography and the Exploratory Essay.
Mead, Dana Gulling
An autobiography class at Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania) used one of its four technique paper assignments to focus on the exploratory essay, since the concept of exploration, simply for the sake of questioning, probing, and testing, has both validity and purpose in a class or assignment focusing on autobiography. First the class brainstormed for prewriting on each person's topic; then drafts were evaluated by peers. In the papers, students explored knotty relations with their parents, siblings, former and current friends, why they were more creative and less logical than their parents wanted them to be, etcetra. The students were not afraid to face the issues of their lives, and they were not afraid to share them with the class. The only thing the students could not do was to leave the essays open-ended, to continue questioning. When asked about the assignment, students offered the following ideas: keep the class small; keep the exploratory essay the first one of the semester; stress the open-endedness of the assignment; and provide a model to follow. (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Elizabethtown College PA; Exploratory Writing; Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (80th, Atlanta, GA, November 16-21, 1990).