Letters: In search of a voice


  • Lochran Fallon Marietta Ave, Lancaster




Writer, Teacher, Voice, Vision, Writing-Process, Revision, Letters


What follows is a case study of a freshman at Millersville University who shall be referred to under the pseudonym “Root Beer,” who is enrolled in her first semester in the Spring semester of the 2010-2011 academic year. This case study began with an inquiry-based approach which was applied by presenting the student with a survey of questions which would help to identify the student, her background, and the various characteristics of her writing. This inquiry-based approach was utilized throughout the case study to address the puzzles of practice that came up during the course of determining this student’s needs as a writer. As the research process continued, the center of gravity for this student was identified as voice. Utilizing the knowledge gained about the writer, this researcher was able to provide materials that were selected based on the writer’s profile as a unique individual, in order to provide a familiar foundation to the student writer Root Beer as she worked through the difficulty of expressing voice in her writing. This case study with Root Beer was completed over the course of five separate one-on-one meetings with the student outside of class, each of which was at least one hour in length, although at least one meeting with the student ran two hours in length. This case study also included five observations of Root Beer’s English Composition class with Dr. Shea, conducted in Byerly Hall, Room 120, from 9 AM – 10:15 AM, Tuesdays and Thursdays. This case study will include a detailed explanation of the exercises employed to address the center of gravity issue of voice, the reasoning behind the selection of these exercises, an analysis the results, and how these results were employed in the selection of successive exercises. The potential implications and possible future applications of these exercises toward addressing this issue within a classroom of student writers in the future will also be expounded on in the final pages of this case study.