Writing and the College Experience
Teaching and Learning with Technology would like to acknowledge John Belk for revising the content of this tutorial.
The college experience involves a lot of writing. For example, you may write essays, research papers, creative fiction, e-mail, response papers to readings, book reviews, and analyses. Since the only way to get better at writing is to write, a brief autobiography is required in this tutorial so you can begin to develop college-level writing abilities. In this case, you will start off writing as a subject matter "expert" - your life and times are a topic you know quite well. But, it is also necessary for you to know yourself even better. By working on an autobiography, you will not only be writing, but also doing self-assessment and self-reflection. An autobiography is personal and should reflect who you are. Be creative and be yourself. Here is a list of topics your autobiography will most likely include:
- Your name
- Your background
- Why you are in college
- What you want to accomplish
- Your goals in life
- Your strengths
- Your weaknesses
- What interests you
- A summary of the self-assessment forms you completed
- Your future goals and how you see your future evolving
- Your financial constraints
- Reflections on the following questions:
- How can I graduate with the skills I need?
- How can I obtain the finances I need in a way that enhances my education and life goals?
- How can I use my time most efficiently?
- How can I experience the social aspects of college in a way that will benefit my life goals the most?
This kind of writing is an opportunity for you to develop new ways of seeing, knowing, and creating meaning. Begin thinking about how you would like to tell your story and how the reader of your story might interpret it. Remember, a good writer always considers the audience or reader - writing is a kind of conversation or dialogue between writer and reader.
Goals and Objectives
The objectives for this tutorial will help you understand what you should expect from yourself. By the time you finish writing a short autobiography, you will have:
- completed self-assessment forms to help you reflect on your possible learning style and personality type
- outlined your autobiography
- completed a first draft and revised your autobiography
- demonstrated correct punctuation and grammar
- First, complete one or more self-assessment processes.
- Next, read the autobiographies of our virtual students.
- Third, complete these two activities which will help you to brainstorm ideas and think about what you want to include in your autobiography.
- Fourth, choose an outlining strategy. First, read the information about outlining, then look at the different styles of outlines and choose the one you prefer.
- Finally, you are ready to write your autobiography!
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