Analyzing a memoir of disability: Utilizing a group writing assignment to increase applicability and comprehension of course material

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Meghan Owenz

Abstract

"Analyzing a Memoir of Disability" is a semester-long project that promotes learning about disability and culture through group reading and writing about a single memoir. Students in an Introduction to Rehabilitation and Human Services course completed a textual analysis by using a memoir and course textbook to contextualize one another. Writing was framed as a collaborative, multi-step process that cycles through writing, discussing, and writing again. Students were required to regularly integrate course concepts with their assigned memoir readings to prepare for their in-class book club meetings. The project culminated in a formal group paper of 5-7 pages. Despite some logistical challenges, the project was well received, highlighted by many students as their favorite part of the course, and appeared to ignite a passion for reading, writing, and the material under study in many students.

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