• Freewrite about the difference between an author and a writer. When would you use the first term to describe the creator of a text and when would you use the second instead?


  • Here is Porter's reference to intertexuality in cultural media.
    • How does this correspond to your ideas about readers and writers?
  • How does his example demonstrate his iteration of discourse communities? He asks us:
    • "Does the writer have any [freedom]? Is any writer doomed to plagiarism? Can any text be said to be new? Are creativity and genius actually possible?" (WAW, 93). What do you think?


  • As a writer, you've developed your discourse skills, i.e. literacy, throughout your life. These experiences may have been explicit forms of practice, like school essays or job-related forms and texts, but they may also have been implicit, like learning to use a computer or reading comic books for the first time. Any time you've negotiated a new situation for developing meaning through language, you've developed a particular literacy. Your challenge in the invention stage of your Literacy Autobiography is to determine which of these situations has been most significant to you.
  • List your literacy experiences, as many as you can think of, in ten minutes.
    • Do this on a blank piece of paper.
    • Try to think about your literacy in terms of the "languages" you speak:
      • All of you should have some literacy with academic writing
      • Most of you will have some kind of vocational literacy (even if you've never had a formal job, you've surely done work for your parents, neighbors, etc.)
      • Some of you will have specific hobby-related literacy (with games, sports, extracurricular activities, etc; just be careful that you are describing a writing literacy!)
  • Once you had time to put this list together, we'll get into groups of 5 and each of you will read your list to your group.
    • When one group member is reading their list, check off any literacy that you've got in common on your list.
    • When you're done, we'll discuss which forms of literacy are most valuable for including in this project.


  • Read The Joy of Reading and Writing, by Sherman Alexie on page 362 and Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott on page 301.
  • Using your list of your literacy experiences, write about their significance in relation to each other and your discourse communities. You should have at least a page and a half, separate from your list, that discusses your literacy, when you return to class on Wednesday.
    • Your discussion should consider not only what experiences have shaped your literacy, but in what way thay have shaped them. Remember that this is just drafting and doesn't have to be polished! Content is much more valuable than style at this point in your writing!