Archive for the ‘Andrea Lunsford’ Category

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Can Life Stories Be Revised?

posted: 2.19.15 by Andrea Lunsford

You may have seen an article in the New York Times called “Writing Your Way to Happiness.” This essay corroborated earlier research that has connected writing with improved health, though the author here focuses on if and how writing can lead to behavioral change and “improve happiness.” A number of studies indicate that writing can indeed lead to such changes. As the author puts it, “by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.” [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Andrea Lunsford
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What is “the neuro turn”?

posted: 2.12.15 by Andrea Lunsford

At the 2015 MLA meeting in Vancouver, John Schilb chaired a session on “Composition after the Neuro Turn,” which he identifies as the move the field has taken beyond the social and toward an encounter with contemporary work in neuroscience. As Schilb pointed out in his proposal for the session, composition engaged deeply with cognitive studies in the ’70s and early ’80s, before social constructionist theory took center stage. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Pedagogy
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A writing assignment—in tiny steps?

posted: 2.5.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Flying across the country a few weeks ago, I read Diogo Mainardi’s The Fall: A Father’s Memoir in 424 Steps (you can hear an interview with the author here). It’s a slim book—166 pages—so I had time to read it twice through, which I did with pleasure and gratitude. While the story of Mainardi’s son Tito’s botched birth in a Venice hospital, which left him with cerebral palsy, is gripping from first to last, what fascinated me most about the book was its structure: it is divided into 424 brief passages, some as short as a four-word sentence (“Tito has cerebral palsy,” which opens the book), others as long as half a page. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Assignment Idea
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CCCC Multimodal Student Writing Showcase

posted: 2.2.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Last year, shortly after I returned from 4Cs in Indianapolis, I wrote this post about the Bedford/St, Martin’s Multimodal Student Writing Showcase event, which featured presenters from programs of all kinds, from all over the United States.

I ended by saying, “From where I stand, I think it’s safe to say that multimodal writing is alive and well and prospering in writing programs across the country.  No wonder that during the Bedford/St. Martin’s celebration, participants and attendees called for a follow-up celebration of student multimodal writing next year in Tampa – to loud applause.”


One of the many conversations about multimodal student writing at #4C14 in Indianapolis

What a treat to be able to report that there will be a follow-up celebration in Tampa! [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Multimodal Mondays
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Are indexes obsolete?

posted: 1.29.15 by Andrea Lunsford

A posting on the Free Library Blog recently caught my eye, particularly the following paragraph:

Most students also don’t know that many books are indexed. Thus they are unaware that the nature of the assignment might not require that they read the whole work, but rather that they use the index to find the relevant sections which address their own topic. As long as they understand that context matters and learn to read efficiently within a work, they need not be defeated by hundreds of pages of text. Without these skills, it’s a safe bet they haven’t been introduced to bibliographies, chasing notes, or any myriad of other useful appendixes at the back of the book. (See What students (and often their teachers and their principals) don’t know about research and an enriching liberal education.)

Students don’t know books are indexed? [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Handbooks, Working with Sources
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What’s your word of the year?

posted: 1.22.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Surprisingly (to me at least), Merriam Webster announced “culture” as their Word of the Year for 2014, noting that it was the single most-searched-for term during the last twelve months, coming in ahead of “nostalgia,” the second most-searched-for word. Over at Oxford, they pronounced “vape” the word of the year, in a nod to the e-cigarette movement. And went with “exposure,” related to the fears surrounding Ebola. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Popular Culture
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Are You Listening?

posted: 12.29.14 by Andrea Lunsford

When “elocution” and speaking began to fall (or were they shoved?) out of the English curriculum fairly early in the 20th century, they took with them attention to listening. In fact, the hegemony of print (put it in writing, please!) focused attention more and more on written words and their correctness. My grandmother remembered near-daily recitations (at 96 she could recite the poems she memorized and performed in middle school), but only a decade or so later, those exercises were gone, replaced by reading and writing. [read more]

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Holiday Wishes

posted: 12.22.14 by Andrea Lunsford

Over this holiday season, I’m spending time on the northern California coast, where we’ve been rocked by much-needed storms and rain for the last two weeks. I sit in my upstairs study, looking out toward the Pacific as the huge swells advance and crash onto the little cove beyond my house. I’ve spent some time sending Happy Holiday, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas cards and some time walking (in between rain showers). But most of my time has been spent writing—upcoming talks, new chapters for textbooks, and a lot of email messages to those I love most [read more]

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How’s Your Writing Center Doing?

posted: 12.18.14 by Andrea Lunsford

A week or so ago, I  traveled to Miami University in Ohio to meet with the National Advisory Board for the Howe Center for Writing Excellence, a group that includes Kathleen Yancey, Marti Townsend, Chris Anson, and Steve Bernhardt along with Kate Ronald, Director of the Howe Center. I’ve been on this Board since the inception of the Center, so I’m always glad to visit and learn about what this exemplary Center is doing. As always, I came away impressed. Student tutorials have increased exponentially, as have the number of workshops offered for students at all levels. [read more]

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Casket or Coffin? The New York Times and Style

posted: 12.11.14 by Andrea Lunsford

In mid-November I was skimming headlines when this one caught my eye: “Please, Don’t ‘Decry’ the ‘Divorcee.’ Or Give Us Your ‘CV.” The Times Guide to Modern Usage.”  Intrigued, I clicked and read on.  In this brief piece, Susan Lehman, former deputy editor of the Sunday Review section of the New York Times, provides a “sampling of terms that should be used with care.” [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Grammar & Style
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