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ERIC Number: ED341059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Memoir Writing: Evoking the Authentic Voice.
Shull, Ellen M.
In a freshman composition course, the teacher attempted to motivate student interest in writing by assigning biographical readings and fiction that felt like real life. In reading the books, students found topics for writing about their own lives. During the first class session, students were given the topic "The Story of My Life: A Beginning" for a 10-minute free writing assignment. Students were assigned to revise the essays for discussion within writing groups during a subsequent class. Writers read their essays aloud, and other group members responded in writing, explaining: (1) what they liked best about the essay; (2) what was confusing or required more detail; and (3) what should be added, removed, or rearranged. The teacher also wrote comments on the papers. When the students got their papers back, some immediately began to pencil in ideas for further revision. A second "power writing" assignment drew similarly positive reactions from students. It became clear that when students write about themselves, they are more apt to use the course to refine their writing competencies. Furthermore, by paying attention to the details of their lives, students begin to define themselves and their philosophies of life. (An appendix of writing assignments and a 22-item bibliography of memoirs and autobiography are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A