NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ839117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0098-6291
Grading the War Story
Burdick, Melanie
Teaching English in the Two-Year College, v36 n4 p353-354 May 2009
This article considers the emotional and psychological complexities of responding to personal narratives when the focus is war. The author teaches at a community college and she always begins her semester with a narrative assignment for the usual reasons: students write better when they write what they know; teachers should scaffold writing assignments a la Moffett--to enable students to move from what is emotionally close to them to more complex and seemingly faraway topics; narratives allow teachers to get to know their students and their students' writing in more multifaceted ways. Those are all good reasons, and they have worked for her in the past, but this semester, a part of her wishes that she had never given a personal narrative essay assignment. Many of the stories that her students told were connected to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her mind spins wondering how to critique these writings just the right way, without becoming lost in depression. She knows that she must overcome her fear and her despair at the tragedy of these stories. It is an essential fight and one that takes courage. It is weighty and, although it would be easier to turn her back, she must make her attempt so that her students' voices can be heard and the truths in their stories can be heeded.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Afghanistan; Iraq