ERIC Number: ED431706
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Civic Writing in Education for Democratic Citizenship. ERIC Digest.
Civic writing is an intellectual skill that is needed for effective and responsible participation in civil society and government. This Digest examines the concept of civic writing, identifies its purposes in democratic citizenship, and discusses how to teach it. Civic writing includes formal legal writing (speeches, petitions, resolutions), formal organizational writing (minutes of meetings, agendas, memos, newsletters), and informal and personal writing (letters to friends, relatives, neighbors supporting or opposing candidates for public office). There are five major purposes for civic writing: (1) to personalize civic relationships with public officials and/or to express a civic identity with other citizens; (2) to obtain information or assistance; (3) to provide public information or to offer a public service; (4) to evaluate public officials or services; and (5) to advocate for people or causes. Advocacy civic writing is clustered around five distinct types of political activities: (1) soliciting support for a civic or political organization; (2) supporting or opposing public officials or candidates; (3) supporting, opposing, or modifying existing or proposed laws or policies; (4) creating or removing laws; and (5) advocating new political structures or procedural rules. Civic writing can be taught by asking students to read, analyze, and judge the participatory writing of local citizens using the community newspaper. Topics to explore in this process are intended readers, tone, content, explicit purpose, accuracy, honesty, fairness, relevant information, courtesy, logical reasoning, and concern for the common good. (JH)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Civics, Democracy, Language Arts, Law Related Education, Secondary Education, Social Studies, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Evaluation
ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, 2805 East Tenth Street, Suite 120, Bloomington, IN 47408; Tel: 800-266-3815 (Toll Free); Tel: 812-855-3838.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Bloomington, IN.