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New Help in Finding Reading Materials

posted: 7.15.11 by archived

As a writing teacher who sometimes chooses not to use textbooks, I’m always on the lookout for potential reading material for my students. I regularly read through the New Yorker, Harper’s , the Atlantic Monthly, and the Sunday magazine sections of the New York Times and the Boston Globe, and from time to time I check at Arts and Letters Daily for online articles that might be suitable (their sidebar also lists many top-notch magazines that offer free access to much of their archives).

A site that launched last month, Byliner.com, offers great promise for teachers like me on the hunt for FYC reading material.

On the Atlantic Wire blog, Adam Clark Estes describes it like this:

Byliner works like a discovery engine for the best long form nonfiction writing. Fueled by the archives of publications like The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Outside as well as an original content platform called Byliner Originals, the newly launched site indexes individual works and sorts them by author, by topic and by source. Users can follow their favorite authors, submit links to quality articles and share what they like with their social networks. Imagine an aggregator like Arts & Letters Daily meets Google News and has a beautifully designed baby.

The site includes not only contemporary material but also classic literary journalism (or creative nonfiction, whatever your term of choice; e.g., Joan Didion, E. B. White, and Tom Wolfe, among others), all of it conveniently available online for classroom use.

Another very useful feature, from a teaching perspective, is their Spotlight section, which gathers essays/articles on common themes such as baseball, food and drink, and marriage.

Have you found any similar sites, or do you have any other strategies for finding interesting, useful articles for your writing classes? If so. please share them in the comments.

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Categories: Holly Pappas, Teaching Advice
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