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ERIC Number: EJ1139921
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0147-1635
Staging an Essay: Play and Playwriting for Redirecting Habits of Mind
Ellis, David; Murtha, Megan
Journal of Basic Writing, v33 n1 p74-102 2014
Many first-year students struggle with the transition from high school writing to college writing as higher-order demands are made and new discipline-specific genres are added. Previous writing training can provide a "mental set effect," old habits of mind, which inhibits growth. Additionally, students receive writing training in courses other than the composition class that may further interfere with development and the acquisition of the critical thinking needed for college writing. In this article, we argue that playwriting exercises, informed by Vygotsky's theory of play, offer a mode to foster critical thinking common to writing practice across the academy and actuate Burke's "parlor" of academic discourse. Writing-About-Writing (WAW) after playwriting exercises strengthens writer identity and facilitates the transfer of knowledge to other genres.
Journal of Basic Writing. PO Box 465, Hanover, PA 17331. Tel: 717-632-3535; Fax: 717-633-8920; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A