Graduation Year

2011

Location

Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

9-4-2011 9:00 AM

End Date

9-4-2011 10:00 AM

Description

Student resistance to writing formally structured essays is a common roadblock found within the high school classroom across disciplines. Offering an alternative to formal essays, creative writing provides students with a less rigid opportunity for exploring and communicating personal viewpoints and discoveries. This paper investigates how students' perceptions of essay writing change when creative writing is incorporated into the writing process. This study was completed using a qualitative self-study approach and included varying data collection methods such as field notes, student work, and student feedback. The findings of this study indicate that opportunities for creative writing increase student interest and engagement in composition. Small creative writing assignments offer manageable steps for students to explore ideas and transition into longer formal essays. As personal connection and investment in writing increases, students more naturally establish individual voice and integrate unique perspectives in their academic writing. Larger implications of this study suggest that providing a "real world" purpose or connection in writing opportunities may be essential for activating student interest and participation. This study encourages further exploration of how educators can make encounters with writing more meaningful for students by combining alternative methods with more traditional ones.

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM Apr 9th, 10:00 AM

Use of Creative Writing to Change Students' Perceptions of Essays

Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University

Student resistance to writing formally structured essays is a common roadblock found within the high school classroom across disciplines. Offering an alternative to formal essays, creative writing provides students with a less rigid opportunity for exploring and communicating personal viewpoints and discoveries. This paper investigates how students' perceptions of essay writing change when creative writing is incorporated into the writing process. This study was completed using a qualitative self-study approach and included varying data collection methods such as field notes, student work, and student feedback. The findings of this study indicate that opportunities for creative writing increase student interest and engagement in composition. Small creative writing assignments offer manageable steps for students to explore ideas and transition into longer formal essays. As personal connection and investment in writing increases, students more naturally establish individual voice and integrate unique perspectives in their academic writing. Larger implications of this study suggest that providing a "real world" purpose or connection in writing opportunities may be essential for activating student interest and participation. This study encourages further exploration of how educators can make encounters with writing more meaningful for students by combining alternative methods with more traditional ones.