Storylines: a narrative study of young adolescents making meaning of their writing experiences

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Claire Smith Lambert (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Colleen Fairbanks

Abstract: This study used a narrative inquiry model to explore the writing experiences of a diverse group of eight middle-school aged participants by responding to three research questions: 1) How do young adolescents experience learning to write?, 2) How do they narrate their writing experiences?, and 3) What meaning do they make of writing and learning to write? Data comprised transcripts of 24 60-90 minute semi-structured one-on-one interviews, or three interviews with each of the eight participants. Interviews were conducted at roughly six-week intervals following these young adolescents’ participation in a two-week Young Writers’ Camp held at a medium-sized university in the Southeast. The study design and data analysis procedures built upon Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) three-dimensional model of narrative inquiry, which interprets participants’ narratives on three planes: across time, with consideration of the individual within his or her social context, and with attention to place. Analysis and interpretation, conducted within a sociocultural paradigm, yielded three storylines – collections of narratives drawn across participant interviews that resonate with one another and combine to tell a larger story. These storylines elicited the meanings young adolescent writers made of the intersections of family and school narratives around writing; the role of language exposure, appropriation, and use; and the use of writing as a tool for identity negotiation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Narrative Inquiry, Writing, Writing Identity, Young Adolescent
Creative writing (Middle school)
Language arts (Middle school)
Narration (Rhetoric) $x Study and teaching (Middle school)
Authorship $x Psychological aspects

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