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ERIC Number: ED263590
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr-3
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Why People Write: Ethnographies of Writing and Implications for Instruction.
Sanders, Tobie R.; And Others
A review of the literature concerning ethnographic studies of writing reveals a number of reasons for the writing that people do. Some studies of writing in the schools found that what is considered "writing" is not really writing at all and that the majority of students consider the teacher to be their sole audience. Other studies examining writing within a cultural context--both within and outside the United States--to determine why people write discovered that writing serves a variety of purposes and audiences. A study conducted in Marion, Ohio, collected and organized preliminary information needed to design and carry out an ethnography of writing in a culturally diverse midwestern community. Participants were observed in community settings where writing naturally occurred and data from 91 instances of writing behavior were analyzed. Results of this descriptive study and of the literature review suggest instructional practices that can be adapted to all levels of students, including having students write for "authentic" reasons, for a variety of audiences, and within a wide range of activities and assignments. Ethnographic studies of writing are thus valuable for providing teachers with insights into the nature and function of writing and with ideas for creating writing curricula that offer students realistic opportunities for writing. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A