This dissertation is accessible only to the Illinois State University community.

  • Off-Campus ISU Users: To download this item, click the "Off-Campus Download" button below. You will be prompted to log in with your ISU ULID and password.
  • Non-ISU Users: Contact your library to request this item through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

First Advisor

Jim Kalmbach


This qualitative research study, conducted in a high school English classroom, asks, "What are students learning as they write their memoirs?" Writing was compiled from 18 students throughout the course of a semester-long memoir project in Spring 2014. Students filled out two questionnaires, both at the beginning and the end of the project, and seven students participated in a focus group halfway through the semester. The findings reveal that students' efforts to engage with past memories promoted a heightened self-awareness, which included feelings of connectedness to a variety of groups. This self-awareness encouraged experimentation with and a more dynamic understanding of "voice" in writing, and created valuable opportunities for self-assessment. An explanation of the semester-long memoir project is presented, followed by a review of relevant literature related to creative nonfiction, voice in writing, and self-assessment in a writing classroom. Research methods are explained, followed by an explanation of the findings of this study.


Imported from ProQuest Wyant_ilstu_0092N_10322.pdf


Page Count


Off-Campus Download