Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016


Anonymity is presented as an approach in freshman writing workshops that can broaden participation, improve student writing, and provide benefits to classroom culture. The anonymous format circumvents persona and entrains universal participation and its no-stakes approach elicits authentic responses, especially around difficult and uncomfortable topics. The technique provides a democratic alternative to "class discussion' and gives students license to let their attention wander or focus critically. Activities based on anonymous responses change how students engage with instructors and with one another, as well as how they approach traditional writing assignments, and evoke spontaneity and fluidity of style that accelerate their development as writers.


This work was originally published in Thought & Action, the Higher Education Journal of the National Education Association, 32:1, Summer 2016, 51-62.



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