Posts Tagged ‘student writing’

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Student Success in Savannah

posted: 4.21.15 by Traci Gardner

I spent the weekend in wonderful Savannah, Georgia, at the Student Success in Writing Conference. The wonderful event led me to conversations with teachers from high schools, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges.

I got to meet Bits guest bloggers Kim Haimes-Korn and Jeanne Bohannon, who presented on “Transcending Tech-Tools: Engaging Students through Critical Digital Pedagogies.” Jeanne shared a video animation project that focused on “A Day in the Life” stories that developed students’ critical thinking skills by requiring them to consider another point of view, and Kim talked about an assignment that asks students to use digital timeline tools to publish literacy narratives. I’m hopeful that they will share more details in a future post. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Digital Writing, Student Success, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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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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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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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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On Giving Thanks

posted: 11.24.14 by Andrea Lunsford

When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday of the year. My family was living in Tennessee, and our neighborhood was a real neighborly place. No store-bought costumes in those days: we dressed up in our parents’ clothes (many of us girls teetering around in our mother’s wedgie shoes) and went from house to house, where we were usually invited in for cookies or homemade fudge—or to bob for apples. My favorite night of the year. [read more]

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CWPA 2014: Connecting Themes for Basic Writing

posted: 7.28.14 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

If the theme of the conference was “Writing Program Administrator as Worker,” a connecting theme remains in the hearts and minds of the Basic Writing educators with whom I spoke at the 2014 Conference on Writing Program Administration (CWPA): “We need to make our work visible to the general public.”

CWPA provided some excellent examples. Duane Roen’s Saturday keynote talk at CWPA holds particular resonance. In this final plenary talk on the last full day of CWPA, Roen offered a compelling argument for presenting our work as writing teachers to the general public. Citing the research of Linda Adler-Kassner, Roen suggested that we need to find “opportunities” to “tell the stories of our research, teaching, and professional organizations.” [read more]

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Does Effort Count?

posted: 10.6.09 by Traci Gardner

High on the list of phrases that make me cringe you’ll find these: “Does effort count? I worked hard on this.” So many sighs have followed those sentences. They encapsulate one of the hardest concepts in writing instruction. Writing improvement is hard work, and even modest gains can take a long time to appear.

I’d gotten to the point where I simply ignored effort in grading conversations. It just seemed easier. A paper either earned a B, or it didn’t. Whether the student worked hard didn’t matter. It turns out that I was wrong.

I read “The Truth about Grit” in The Boston Globe two months ago, and its conclusions have been nagging at me ever since. The article explains the history and study of what you and I might call effort. According to psychologist Angela Duckworth from the University of Pennsylvania, grit is what makes one person succeed where an equally intelligent person fails. It’s the idea of applying hard work and perseverance to a task. It’s the same notion, the article explains, behind Edison’s axiom “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

In fact, grit can actually be a predictor for success. Entering first-year cadets at West Point made it past summer training if they tested high for grit, according to a study by Duckworth. Another study by Duckworth found that students who become finalists in the Scripps National Spelling Bee also tested high for grit. Fifth graders praised for their grit actually did better on IQ tests than students praised for being intelligent, according to a study by Carol S. Dweck from Stanford University.

It’s not grit alone that makes the difference in achievement. Dweck points out that students need to understand that “talent takes time to develop, and requires continuous effort.” They need what she calls a “growth mindset.” In short, students must believe that they develop abilities over time, not that they are born with them.

That notion fits perfectly with what we know about teaching people to write. People are not born great writers. They have to work at it persistently, and the development process can take a long time. In other words, to improve as a writer, you need that same growth mindset. If you believe that you cannot write, that you just weren’t born with the ability, you may never excel. To become a better writer, you have to believe that if you work hard enough and long enough, you can improve your writing.

As I’ve thought about “The Truth about Grit,” I’ve come to realize two things. First, it’s crucial to help students understand that it takes a long time to improve as a writer. They need to cultivate a growth mindset where writing is concerned. Second, it actually matters whether I tell a student that I can tell she’s worked very hard on her paper. Effort, it turns out, counts far more than I ever realized.

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Categories: Assessment, Learning Styles, Writing Process
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Plagiarism Workshop

posted: 12.9.08 by Nick Carbone

Presented to the Cuyahoga Community College English Faculty

“Steal This Talk” Part 1 of 8
Losing Voice: The Threat of Plagiarism.

“Steal This Talk” Part 2 of 8: We Were All Freshmen
“Steal This Talk” Part 3 of 8: Plagiarism Statements: Do’s and Don’ts
“Steal This Talk” Part 4 of 8: Problematizing Plagiarism
“Steal This Talk” Part 5 of 8: Helping Students Not Hang Themselves
“Steal This Talk” Part 6 of 8: Research: What Might It Mean
“Steal This Talk” Part 7 of 8: The One True Source
“Steal This Talk” Part 8 of 8: The Benevolent Panopticon

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Categories: Plagiarism, Student Success, Teaching Advice, Teaching with Technology, Working with Sources
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