Informal Writing

What are the uses of informal writing?

The varieties of informal writing




Speed writing; blind screen writing; e-list; chatroom

Responding to prompts

Journal prompts; readings prompts; peer review prompts; beginning-of-discussion catalyst; middle-of-discussion rejuvenator; end-of-discussion summary


Daily, weekly, reading-centered, event-centered, theme-centered, totally free, quantity-based, double-entry journals, lab notebooks,

Asking questions

Generating questions for readings; generating questions for peers’ texts; asking questions about the course; imaginary dialogues

Online communication

E-lists (listservs); Pipeline chats; popmail address books; IM chats; Daedalus chats

Class collaborative project

Class zines; class publications; mock trials; dramatizations

Personal publication

Individual’s magazine; personal web page


Modeling of paragraph, sentence; using parodies; modeling genres (memos, letters to editor, CD liner notes, ads, etc.)

Impromptu reportage

In-class report on a staged event; report of a field trip or video


Analysis of a writing assignment and how it was met; analysis of classroom use of a text, program; analysis of the course; generating grading criteria for assignments

Creative informal writing

Dialogues; skits; bio-poems of real/fictional persons (Gere, 1985); letters to famous persons; metaphor games


Practice essay exams; job application cover letters; thesis sentences; revision of paragraphs; revision of peer papers

How does informal writing fit into the course structure and assessment process?

(The following options may not be valid depending on the type of informal writing assigned)