Introduction

While the field of Writing Studies has certainly expanded in recent years to include research on more of the individual in their writing and on what affect an individual’s experiences have on their writing process, there are still many questions surrounding the concept of authenticity and “authentic writing.” How is authenticity/authentic content generated and, more, how can this content be identified as authentic? What constitutes authentic writing? These are only a few of the questions pervading this inquiry of study. More questions and debate arises when education and instruction are included in this discussion. Do educators have a responsibility to their students to help them develop authenticity and, if so, to what degree are they responsible for that development? The complexity this inquiry of study evokes may explain why so little academic research on the topic has occurred. That, and, again, identifying authenticity in writing can be highly subjective and controversial. Still, much research that has attempted to address the concept of authenticity in writing seems to indicate that instruction that encourages the exploration and the development of the self through writing ultimately creates more engaged writers and educators.

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