Date of Completion
Open Access Capstone
Master of Arts (MA)
Delores B. Gallo
Teachers are always looking for ways to enhance their students' writing abilities. The approach of this thesis is to expose students directly to current theory on process writing while also discussing a piece of metafiction, a novel which acknowledges its awareness of its own status as fiction. Process writing theory is infused with a unit on Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five in order to connect theory and practice in writing. This immersion in the theory, creative practice and critical evaluation of writing is designed to expand students' awareness of their innate language-making abilities. A Curriculum was implemented kin a 12th grade, heterogeneously grouped English class. Four types of writing were employed: 1) two essays of the student's own process were written, one before the unit and the other after the unit; 2) a freewriting journal on student reading throughout the unit was kept; 3) a daily summary of in-class activities was written; and 4) a creative reaction to the unit was developed. Three students were followed after exposure to the unit, and their writing was evaluated in order to see the impact of this immersion. Evidence of their metacognition, creative development and motivation was then observed. The results of the project were positive; the essays in particular showed a clear improvement in metacognition and motivation. The implications beyond this curriculum are important. Students who view themselves as writers and who share the variety of roles of the writer find the freedom to discover themselves more fully. When writing is seen as a process in which all learners are involved, attitudes clearly change. The teacher who shares power within the classroom and allows students more ownership over their ideas has a better opportunity to influence student attitudes about making-meaning. The direct knowledge of writing theory proved beneficial in the practice of writing.
Porter, William E., "A Critical and Creative Approach to Enhancing Student Writing" (1992). Critical and Creative Thinking Capstones Collection. 241.