National Writing Project

Adolescent Writing Paragraph by Paragraph

By: Bonnie Faiman
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 1
Date: Winter 1999

Summary: Faiman knows that when students choose personal topics, they sometimes explore subjects that are none of a teacher's business, but she insist the autobiographical paragraphs motivate students to write on subjects important to them.



One of the representative forms that remains valid, particularly for middle school students, is the autobiographical vignette. Most of us have learned how to direct these autobiographical writing prompts. We know the classic request to write about "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" is likely to produce uninteresting chronologies while the more specific "My Most Memorable Meal" may summon rich details of mouth-watering prose.

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