Date of Graduation

Spring 2008

Degree

Master of Arts in Writing

Department

English

Committee Chair

James Baumlin

Keywords

composition, personal writing, scholarship, teaching, memoir

Subject Categories

Creative Writing

Abstract

Composition studies continues to evolve as a discipline, and new paradigms (beyond the current reigning social-constructionism) develop that offer not so much competing as complementary perspectives. One such paradigm is the "scholarship of the personal." As the name implies, scholarship of the personal allows teachers and students to personalize—in effect, to "own" and to declare mastery over—traditional academic writing, allowing student-writers especially to incorporate their own experience into their scholarly/academic texts. Often disguised under the cloak of various other terms (such as the "personal essay," creative nonfiction, and memoir), scholarship of the personal is more complex than these suggest, since it teaches tacitly—in effect, it "teaches by doing," by modeling experience for the student-writer. The result is that students and their instructors engage in a dialogic activity that benefits both parties and, as important, that allows for an advancement of scholarship.

Copyright

© Craig A. Meyer

Campus Only

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