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Reinventing Invention: Discovery and Investment in Writing

Trim, Michelle D. and Megan Lynn Isaac
Series Edition: 
Vol. 1

Chapter Description

Our chapter begins by describing the role of invention in the writing process using a mixture of accessible scholarship and specific comments from our students. We make connections between student investment in writing, adopting a successful writing process, and performing different invention strategies. In addition to our inclusion of student comments, we root our chapter in composition theory.

The sections that follow present specific invention activities that students can perform on their own, or that may be performed by students in groups. We offer detailed instructions for both possibilities. These strategies have been employed in our classes, and we offer possible student responses to them as examples, demonstrating how an activity might lead the writer to a successful paper topic. The strategies covered address different kinds of invention and consider the role of genre, audience, and purpose.

The final section discusses student responses to some of the activities, addressing some of the challenges students raise. Our goal in this section is to provide examples of ways different student writers can identify with different invention strategies without sacrificing overall success in developing their ideas. In other words, we want students to understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for everyone.


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