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ERIC Number: ED465165
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar-21
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Irony and the Ecstasy: How Holden Caulfield Helped My Advanced Composition Students Find Their Voices.
Huff, Linda
An instructor of an advanced composition course (adapted from one taught by James Seitz at the University of Pittsburgh) at the University of California Riverside took her students through a series of reading and writing assignments that asked them to "engage in a wide variety of prose styles and...consider what style suggests about language, subjectivity, and artistic expression." The students worked with several fiction and nonfiction texts, first analyzing their stylistics and then emulating some particular stylistic feature in their own prose. Writing assignments included epistolary writing, shifts between third and first person and the incorporation of two or three different languages and dialects, composing their own "modest proposals," retelling a fairy tale from the point of view of a "misunderstood" character, and taking on the persona of Holden Caulfield. In their introductions to their portfolios, almost every student--8 out of 12 in the class--included an analysis of what had come to be known as the "Holden paper," a 3-to-4-page piece in which they each re-wrote a newspaper article of their choice in Holden Caulfield's voice. One student's "Holden paper" serves as an illustration of the work. As the instructor looks back at last Winter's class, she is encouraged by the fact that racial, gender, and age differences from Holden's white male adolescence did not seem to be an issue for her student writers. Mostly, the students took on Holden's voice with enthusiasm and confidence, even though they came into class wanting to stick to the known path of academic rules. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A