View Chapters

Book: Creativity and Discovery in the University Writing Class

Chapter: 4. Writing Creativity and Discovery: Process and Pedagogy

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27769


In this chapter, I explore commonalities as well as differences between creative writing and the kind of writing we think of as non-creative, and then draw implications for pedagogy related to writing of the second kind. I will especially have in mind the kind of writing taught in university classes – typically, academic essays or research papers. A central point is that creativity and discovery are at the heart of writing and, moreover, that discovery is part of the creative process. Other key points are that creativity and discovery are forces in all human beings and can be enhanced through teaching. These are important notions for education and specifically for writing pedagogy.

The discussion is divided into four parts: First, I briefly describe
creativity in written language starting from a framework developed by Sky Marsen (Marsen, 2012). Then, I present some creative content in the form of a one-paragraph example of scholarly essay-type (expository or analytical) writing and describe some of the different kinds of creativity it exhibits. On the basis of this examination, I make some reflections on the nature of writing and compare literary writing that is normally classified as creative with academic writing. In the final section, I make observations and then suggestions regarding the teaching of writing that emerge from the earlier parts of the discussion.

Chapter Contributors

  • Martha Pennington ([email protected] - marthapennington) 'SOAS and Birkbeck College, University of London'