Creative Writing in the Composition Classroom Essay

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Walking inside the typical composition class, one can expect to see the students crafting the five-paragraph essay or working on a persuasive piece as they try to argue they side of an in-class debate. Composition classes do not only work on a studentís writing, they also get the students to think through their writing (at least the good ones do). There is a certain well-accepted style to teaching writing in the traditional composition class, and it works very well for many students and teachers. However, should the line of comfort be crossed, and if so, how? Should composition instructors grab a hold of a different writing style, making it the focal point of their pedagogies in their writing classes? More importantly, if they do, what…show more content…
Of course, they are well-suited to teaching writing of any kind to their students, but could they not be more effective in doing so if they had the freedom to teach the typical ìfive-paragraphî or ìpersuasiveî as a piece of creative writing/literature?

While Bishopís work on the topic of using creative writing in the composition classroom is crucial to any understanding of the argument, Deborah Dean, in ìMuddying Boundaries: Mixing Genres with Five Paragraphs,î also extensively explores the question I just raised, and does so by bringing in the concept of ìgenre theory.î In an explanation of ìgenre theory,î Dean states that, ìone way to make writing interesting is to create the experiences of the genre in the mind of the reader and then tweak one or twoî (Dean 53). Using the example of a childrenís fairy tale to illustrate her point, Dean goes on to say that genre theory is a bit controversial, saying that ìif applied without thought, it could mean a return to a focus on forms and product over processî (Dean 53). Proponents of genre theory, however, feel just the opposite. To them, genre theory is ìa more logical way to empower our students, to give them the ability to write in ways that will help them be successful in the social situations in which theyíll find themselvesî (Dean 53).

Application of genre theory in the classroom ìis a process because it asks students to analyze the social context
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