ERIC Number: ED367999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Novels in the Composition Class: An Enigma or Stimulating Strategy?
Bridges, Jean Bolen
Composition classes at East Georgia College, a two-year college in the University System of Georgia, use some literature and literary discussions without compromising the "integrity" of the composition course. Cultural backgrounds of students are similar--most come from non-reading homes, and some say they have never read a whole book. Additionally, the economic situation in the rural area is grim. East Georgia College has moved away from canonical works and toward selection of contemporary novels, even best sellers, biographies, and autobiographies. When possible, the authors visit the campus and speak to the students. Considerations for selection include moderate length of the novel, low cost, no "Cliff Notes" available, and difficulty of the text. The selection process ends only when students respond to the books in writing. Students are quizzed on the book before discussion begins, discuss the book, and then receive writing assignments with at least four choices. Reading novels, biographies, and autobiographies stimulates students' thinking and their expression of those thoughts in both oral and written form. Composition instructors know that students continue to read after they leave the classroom and the college because former students write and tell them so. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: East Georgia College; Writing about Literature
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (83rd, Pittsburgh, PA, November 17-22, 1993).