—Rebecca Nowacek, Marquette University
—Dan Melzer, author of Assignments across the Curriculum
"The Meaningful Writing Project explores students’ perspectives on what makes writing meaningful for them and makes a powerful argument for why that matters. . . . This is a valuable book that engages current conversations on learning and pedagogy."
—Anne Herrington, Distinguished Professor of English Emerita, University of Massachusetts Amherst
"The authors’ years of study has resulted in a useful work for anyone who wishes to connect an assignment to the greater scope of their students’ lives and provide a college experience that resonates beyond the classroom."
—Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research
In the face of the continuing discourse of crisis in US education, The Meaningful Writing Project offers readers an affirming story of writing in higher education that shares students’ experiences in their own voices. In presenting the results of a three-year study consisting of surveys and interviews of university seniors and their faculty across three diverse institutions, authors Michele Eodice, Anne Ellen Geller, and Neal Lerner consider students’ perceptions of their meaningful writing experiences, the qualities of those experiences, and instructors’ perspectives on assignment design and delivery.
This study confirms that meaningful assignments offer students opportunities to engage with instructors, peers, and texts and are relevant to past experiences and passions as well as to future aspirations and identities. Meaningful writing occurs across majors, in both required and elective courses, and beyond students’ years at college. Additionally, the study makes clear that faculty across the curriculum devote significant care and attention to creating writing assignments that support student learning, as they understand writing performance to be a developmental process connected to overall cognitive and social development, student engagement with learning, and success in a wide variety of disciplines and professions.
The Meaningful Writing Project provides writing center directors, WPAs, other composition scholars, and all faculty interested in teaching and learning with writing an unprecedented look into the writing projects students find meaningful.