Capstone/Dissertation Title

Two duffel bags: how a young adult novella can help middle and high school students shoulder essay writing expectations

Term

2011

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Abstract

When middle school students move to high school, their English teachers expect them to write more sophisticated essays. They need to write essays that make claims about books they read, and these claims need to inform the world of the student writer, as well. It's not an easy task, and often students lean on organizational formulas (such as the five-paragraph template) and lose their writing voices (their original, authentic, most interesting expression) in the process. In this study, Hueller creates a tool for these writers (and a tool for teachers to give their students): a YA novella that is also an essay writing text. As a grateful adult reader of books like Strunk and White's The Elements of Style (1979), Hueller declares it's high time for younger readers/writers to have their own book focusing on their essay-writing needs.

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