National Writing Project

Homage to the California Writing Project

By: Marek Breiger
Date: January 29, 2010

Summary: Marek Breiger, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project, describes how since 1982 his experience with the writing project has anchored his belief in the teaching of creative nonfiction and provided strategies to support this teaching.



I have had students write saturation reports since my introduction to the genre that summer in Berkeley. The sense of organization, the paragraphing in a Saturation Report emerges from the assignment. Students sit at a café or a park or a McDonald's and simply take notes, dividing the notes into subtopics of sight, smell, sound, and (for me) association and memory. They turn their notes into coherent paragraphs that describe a specific place. The result may be a five-paragraph essay but it will also be a five-paragraph prose poem."

Copyright © 2009 California English. Reprinted with permission.
Breiger, Marek. 2009. "Homage to the California Writing Project." California English 15 (2): 10–12.

Read more California English articles on the California Writing Project.

About the Author Marek Breiger, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project, teaches English at Irvington High School in Fremont, California. His writings have been included in five major anthologies dealing with the American west.

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