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ERIC Number: ED412569
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reading Stories, Writing Lives: Theorizing Autobiographical Writing in the Classroom.
Wood, Robin
In the struggle to find an acceptably academic voice that still felt personal, an instructor started thinking about what it would mean to say that academic writing is always autobiographical. Reading student work for how the autobiographical is presented in academic discourse, the instructor thought about how autobiographical writing could be used to help students find a way to enter academic conversations. Despite the prevalence of personal narratives as assigned writing in both literature and composition classes, personal writing continues to be thought of as ancillary, something students do before they get down to the business of real writing. In personal writing students may lack control, but they are using conventional narrative elements deliberately to walk the line between necessary revelation and protecting themselves from the unwanted scrutiny that classroom autobiography demands. Students' knowledge of one set of genre conventions can help them learn another set. Theorizing autobiography--asking questions about conventions position and construct subjects -makes sure that teachers are not simply teaching forms. In an introductory literature class, students were asked to pay attention to their writing processes and their own purpose for writing. Their first assignment consisted of writing a conventional personal narrative and then considering their narrative critically. In addition, students read and wrote various forms of non-standard academic writing. Though most students said that the non-standard assignments were the most wrote interesting, engaged essays and reported that these assignments helped them understand the choices that writers face. (Includes 9 notes; contains 5 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A