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ERIC Number: ED370111
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Blurring the Boundaries: Connecting the Autobiographical and the Historical in an Advanced Writing Course.
Thomas, Gordon P.
An advanced writing course required of English education majors may also be taken by students in the humanities. The course helps students gain experience with longer and more complex essays, develop a more mature writing style, and learn how to make metacognitive evaluations of their own and others' writing. It also extends the contexts and purposes of traditional academic writing by showing the students how their own perspectives can contribute productively to the discourse of certain disciplines and how academic discourse can provide methods for exploring personal discourse. One assignment requires students to tell their own autobiographies along with the telling of a group's collective history as represented by the Civil Rights movement and the Holocaust. Such a method would work just as well with the Great Depression or Vietnam or the feminist movement. The historical topic should be selected to meet students' needs. Reading various autobiographies, watching films on the topic, keeping a journal, constructing rhetorical analyses of various historical documents, and writing personal essays about how large national and regional trends have affected the students' own families prepares students for the course's final assignment. This involves writing a retrospective essay that draws on the students' experiences in the course and compares their conceptions of their capabilities as writers with those of two authors the class has studied: Art Spiegelman, Claude Lanzmann, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Mary Clearman Blew. (Appendixes include six writing assignments and excerpts from student journal papers.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A