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ERIC Number: ED346470
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Writing Autobiography: Where To Begin in a Two-Year College Writing Course.
Sandman, John; Weiser, Michael
Writing autobiographies, in which students describe their experiences as writers, show that students already know a great deal about their strengths and weaknesses as writers and about the conditions they need to write successfully. Typical first assignments given to entering college students are often used to diagnose the ability level and potential problem areas of a student. These essays, however, are very unreliable indicators of student abilities. Instructors may learn a great deal more by asking students directly to assess their own abilities as writers, as students' responses show. These responses disclose a wide variety of writing experiences among students, and they enable the teacher to assess where a student is starting from better than any other type of assignment. Students, for instance, are often keenly aware of writing as a process. Many two-year college students have a negative view of their previous writing instruction, complaining that "regular" high school English classes offer little help to average writers. Interestingly, students often complain that they were not asked to write much in high school English courses. With proper follow-through, the writing autobiography provides the teacher with useful information about the students' skills and needs, and it also invites students to monitor their own development as writers. Finally, it helps set the tone for the course by respecting students as thinkers and inviting them to picture themselves as writers. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A