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Free Sample Personal Statement in Writing Studies

Through six years of teaching experience in the public schools, nothing has proved more challenging and intriguing to me than the teaching of writing. My experience in writing instruction has led me to two principal areas which I desire to research further in my graduate work: computers in the composing process and writing across the curriculum. Over the past three years I have become especially interested in the developing field of composing with computers. I have used my English classes as informal laboratories to observe different stages of writing processes on computers. My current experimentation is in the use of computers as tools for response and revision via a distance network. In my graduate study, I would like to further explore the range of possibilities of computers and networks assisting in revision processes. I am also interested in the design of computer writing centers and would like to study how these environments both change our approaches and aid us in our writing tasks.

My second principal area of research interest is cross-curricular approaches to writing. My personal academic interests have always been very eclectic; presently I would like to expand my knowledge of composition modes to encompass the broad range of writing tasks that occur across the university curriculum. Further, I would like to research how writing can be used as a tool for learning in diverse subject domains. My current team teaching in Geography and English has reinforced my belief that there is a tremendous amount of untapped potential in the area of writing to learn.

The literature from the University of Decatur impressed me with its value placed upon the teaching experiences of its graduate students. Beyond my research goals, I hope that my continued teaching during graduate study will build and expand my skills for university instruction. I first became interested in the teaching of writing when tutoring freshmen at the University of California for a remedial English course. Their diverse problems and processes in composition fascinated me, as do those of my current students in English 7 and 12 Honors. By teaching during the course of my studies, I look forward to broadening both my teaching repertoire and my understanding of students' diverse points of development as writers.

When I have completed my Ph.D., I plan to seek employment in an English or rhetoric department as a university composition instructor or coordinator of a university-wide writing program. I would like to work in both instruction and in the development of new programs to help students to think (compose) more effectively. Further, I plan to work in my research and development in frequent association with the public schools so as to aid in the flow of discovery between their world and that of the university. Among my most rewarding professional experiences over the past three years has been my frequent involvement in the Mediterranean Area Writing Project as a presenter to teachers in various countries. To help mediate between public schools and universities, I hope to maintain my involvement in the National Writing Project, and my belief in its philosophy that no single organization or individual has a corner on the very best ideas.

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