Archive for the Free Write Category

Free Write: Interview

Posted in Free Write on February 28, 2013 by jlineb10


The kind of person I want to interview would need to be either a high school English Teacher to further understand why they do not teach creative writing or a fiction writer. I would rather find an actual fiction writer to help me strengthen my own argument of how it should be implemented and how it can be graded. I still believe that Aaron Gwyn would be an optimal person to interview if, if, he ever responds to me. I did send him another email to interview him.  I feel like someone who both writes and teaches fiction writing would be an amazing well of knowledge since my argument is about getting in into school systems. I really need a good source of how to go about grading creative writing. In my current paper, I basically came up with the assessment solutions on my own.


1. How did you get in to fiction writing?

I think their interest will stem from their enjoyment of reading just as mine did. The reason I ask this is to get a sense of what makes people want to write stories. I can implement this into my paper after the second question.

2. Why did you start teaching fiction writing?

I think the answer to this will be because they want to help struggling enthusiasts kind their niche and delve into the fiction world rather than abandon it. This can be hard as the thought of a full 250-600 page book can seem daunting. Knowing this along with how he got into fiction writing to begin with will help me understand how to get others to embrace fiction writing as well when taught in a  class.

3. How does he/she grade creative writing?

My assumption would be based off of how the plot line develops, how the scenery is described, and the amount of depth given to characters. I desperately need a firm answer on this question to be able to have a firm argument in my paper. Creative writing cannot be implemented if it cannot be properly assessed.

4. Are the attributes of creative writing all taught in a singular class or can topics withing creative writing have their own entire semester class? ( such as character development)

My first thought to this question would be yes without a doubt. Most of my paper is about how to assess creative writing but it lacks how to teach creative writing. Knowing how the topic can be staggered in a chain of classes would make it seem like less of a waste when picking semester classes in high school. I noticed many courses that only had one level to it were often thought of as throw away classes. Examples in my school were photography or Remember the holocaust.

5. How do you go about teaching a given subject?

I think the answer to this will be from personal experience more than anything. I want to know so that I can make it sound more plausible for a school board to create course content for creative writing classes.

6. What kind of tests do you give?

My thought to this would be take-home short story essays. I feel like even the shortest of short stories would take a decent amount of time and a very rapid thought porcess to write . It’s possibly too much for a classroom setting. Maybe tests are more about creating a part of a story with no ending or such.

7. Is there any reason you can give me as to why secondary education doesn’t already have creative writing incorporated into English or as a series of electives?

I feel like they wouldn’t have an answer but hopefully they do. I need to know the downside of my argument so that I know how to counter it in my paper.


This is off topic but I thought I’d share it. I was watching The Diary of Anne Frank today on Netflix and I saw close to the end where she decided that, rather than being a movie star, she wanted to become a writer so that she could share her own stories of her life with others. This is not fictional but it still gave me another reason as to why people get into story writing in general. I thought it was really interesting when I saw it.


Good Academic Writing

Posted in Free Write on January 30, 2013 by jlineb10

What I’ve been told it is:

1. My inevitable objective to be successful 

Teachers have always stressed throughout high school that we were going to have to learn to write very professionally. One of my middle school teachers even told me we were only going to be allowed to write in cursive.

2. T.E.D.D.A

Possibly the most dreadfully restrictive writing outline ever. All essays were required to be written in the TEDDA format throughout high school.

3. Professional level writing

It is how most textbooks are expected to be written. No grammatical mistakes, good vocabulary, and a well of knowledge.

What I think it is:

1. Knowing your topic

Good academic writing should mean that the Author knows the topic they are writing about.   

If you hastily skim a few pages about something abstract to you and write a paper then people will know that even you don’t know what you are talking about.

2. Caring about the topic

The author has to actually care about what they write about. If it is forced then you can always tell that it isn’t particularly stimulating. If it isn’t for them then how can it be for the reader?

3. The writing has to flow seamlessly

There has to be a flow of events to the writing, whatever the writing may be. You need some kind of introduction where you announce the topic. State your opinion if you have one and back it up. 

Then you enter the meat of the paper where you go into detail, fleshing out everything you know and want to discuss about the topic. This is where you try and prove your point or guide the reader in the path of your choosing.

Then you wrap up your story or discussion and end with some kind of finale. 

Don’t write professionally. Write artistically.

The secret of good academic writing – the type you often have to do for history, psychology, and other courses – is the assumptions you make about the person reading your paper. In academic writing, it’s best to assume that the person reading and grading your paper is not your real teacher but is someone we’ll call your teacher’s twin. Not only does your teacher’s twin not know who you are, he or she also:

1. Is impressed by new, original ideas and is turned off by mere summary of what’s been said in
class or what the book itself says. (The exception to this is if your teacher has specifically asked
for a summary.)
2. Initially disagrees with your ideas/interpretations/reactions.
3. Can be persuaded to agree with you if you give enough evidence and explain logically enough.
4. Resents being told to take your word for anything – and so expects precise, detailed proof,
often including page references and enough documentation (title of book, author, etc.) so
he/she can look things up for him/herself.
5. Is insulted if you do not anticipate and answer his/her intelligent questions and objections.


I found this bit pretty amusing. Of course you have to know that in most academic writing you will have someone reading and grading it. One line hit me though and that was assuming that the reader isn’t the teacher. I think there is truth to that in some classes. The five steps that listed are a pretty solid guideline to think about when writing the paper. If they disagree with you and fail to be persuaded, it is either because you did a bad job or the reader is abjectly biased. In either case, your grade suffers. You have to make sure that all of your points are solid, hard to counter, and not completely obvious. If you think the reader could raise an objection to any of your evidence, then it would be in your best interest to have something in the paper answering that objection. The most important thing to me is that the topic is interesting. If the subject is a complete anathema then no one will care and you will be shot down.

CoP free write

Posted in Free Write on January 24, 2013 by jlineb10

I know that CoPs are similar to discourse systems. I did a project in English 1101 about discourse systems. What I don’t know is how to determine if something is a CoP as it excludes so many things. I’m not sure what exactly fits the definition. Discourse systems seemed to cover a wider amount of things. I’m not sure how a job isn’t a CoP. We’ll see.