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Writing based off of experiences/prior knowledge




While reading the articles, the ”take away” I received was that our writing is influenced by our experiences and prior knowledge. In our early years we are taught how to write essays according to their specific genre and required format. For example, an argumentative essay is not written the same way a narrative is written, they each contain specific concepts that differentiate the corresponding genre. This relates more to using our prior knowledge to write essays, because as we continue to move up in school, we refer back to what we know to create the new writing pieces we are assigned. When I say “we refer back to what we know”, I mean, whenever we are asked to write an essay (about anything) our mind immediately outline the essay. We know there needs to be an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion that sums up the initially topic but does not repeat what was said in the intro. After that is done, that is when we go into detail regarding what type of essay it is (argumentative: supporting/opposing claims, analysis: dissect another written piece, etc.). Jean Piaget, an educational theorist, believe learners assimilate new information into existing knowledge which enables them to adjust their existing knowledge to accommodate these new findings.

I also believe we write from experience because when we are asked for our opinion or beliefs regarding a subject, we respond from a perspective of something we have lived or grew up believing. For example, I once had to write an argumentative essay on animal testing; since I have a pet dog, my stance was that animal testing should be prohibited and an alternative had to be found to stop all animals from being tortured. My stance also rooted from my family’s love for animals, if I was someone who did not have a pet or came from a family that care for animals, I would have supported animal testing and claimed that animals are the closest thing to a human-being so they are the “best option”.


One response to “Writing based off of experiences/prior knowledge”

  1. Chris Friend Avatar

    I find it fascinating how, right after “we know there needs to be…,” you list the components of a five-¶ essay—the exact type of text folks in class love to hate. Yet you refer to those features as though they’re the backbone of your response to any writing situation/assignment.

    Is the 5¶ essay more helpful than we’re giving it credit? Are your standards for writing stuck on a system you were taught nearly a decade ago? How can we best offer the writing features that are helpful while avoiding the stagnation and lack of inventiveness that often comes with the 5¶ form as an emphasis?

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