National Writing Project

Writing for a Real Audience

By: Peggy Ammann
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 4
Date: October 1986

Summary: Ammann describes how the creation of a "Class Directory" containing articles modeled after those in a local newspaper and written by, for, and about members of her class presents her students with a real writing task.



But what is a Class Directory? It's a collection of articles written by and about each member of the class. I explain it as the kind of write-up one would see in ones local paper when a visiting celebrity comes to town. The assignment requires about three weeks to complete from pre-write to publishing, and I use it to teach every phase of the writing process. Publishing a Class Directory also promotes a friendly and trusting atmosphere; a must in a class where students are asked to take risks with their writing and use response/editing groups. But the thing I like best about this assignment is that it is not written for or to me as the teacher.

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