National Writing Project

Extending the Conversation: Writing as Practice

By: Robert Yagelski
Publication: English Education
Date: 2012

Summary: Considering the act of writing not just for the sake of academic effort, but for the experience itself, Robert P. Yagelski of the Capital District Writing Project shares reflections and powerful examples of writing as praxis to illustrate the importance of living through writing.

 

I want to emphasize here that I am not suggesting that we ignore or diminish the importance of writing as a communicative and rhetorical act. Writing is a powerful and essential means of communication, and students must learn to write effectively for various purposes and audiences. They should master the rhetorical skills needed to write effectively in various contexts. But writing is more than communication. It is a vehicle for sustained inquiry into our experiences, a means of understanding who we are. Ultimately, writing is a deeply human act that can help us better understand what it means to be human. It is this dimension of writing—of the experience of writing—that we must open up for our students and for ourselves."

About the Author

ROBERT P. YAGELSKI served as the Director of the Capital District Writing Project from 2003-2017 and is an Associate Professor of English education at the State University of New York at Albany.

Copyright © 2012 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Used with permission.

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