ERIC Number: ED234409
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
The Un-Assignment: Writing Groups for Advanced Expository Writers.
Schuster, Charles I.
To help committed student writers make the transition from school-sponsored to self-sponsored forms of discourse, an advanced expository writing course combines student-chosen writing assignments with a pedagogical structure that promotes a sensitive and critical response to prose. The class is organized into writing groups containing four or five students each. Every week students take turns giving two readings of three or four pages of new, finished prose. Following the second reading, all group members comment on their responses to the words, tone, organization, and argument of each paper. To increase motivation and provide guidelines for peer evaluations, the teacher listens to and critiques one paper per group every week and offers a quick evaluation of group effectiveness. Writing groups are effective because they (1) consolidate four essential components of rhetorical study--writing, reading, speaking, and listening; (2) encourage writer ownership through self-generated assignments; (3) inspire rising expectations among peer readers; (4) improve the writer's sense of sound and rhythm through oral reading; (5) help listeners develop short-term memory skills; (6) merge audience and writer, subject and response; and (7) show students the value of revising. (An introduction to the course, writing group guidelines, and advice to writers and listeners are appended.) (MM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wyoming Conference on Freshman and Sophomore English (Laramie, WY, June 27-July 1, 1983).