Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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SpeakOut!

posted: 3.19.15 by Andrea Lunsford

On March 9, I had the great good fortune to visit Colorado State University, where my friend and former student Sarah Sloane has been directing the writing program. Her graduate seminar on composition studies was meeting that evening from 4:00 to 7:00, and since they were reading an article of mine, I got to drop in on the class as a “special mystery guest.” Then I got to hear about the work these grad students are doing—on everything from disability studies to multimodal projects to curricular design. They were GREAT. While I was there, Professor Tobi Jacobi said, “I have a present for you,” and handed me a slim volume of writing published by incarcerated men and women. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford
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Selma and "Selma": Writing Assignments

posted: 1.20.15 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

For the past several years, I have assigned readings by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in my basic writing courses. When I have been required to use specific textbooks, I try to choose texts that offer Dr. King’s work in the readings. When I can choose my own texts or have been able to use supplemental texts, I have linked to multimedia texts at the King Papers Project at Stanford University, the King Center Digital Archive, and American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Basic Writing, Susan Naomi Bernstein
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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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Trauma in the Classroom

posted: 11.24.14 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

Guest blogger Abby Nance has an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University and is an instructor at Gardner-Webb University. This is her seventh year teaching in the first year writing program. Her research explores the relationship between trauma and writing in the college classroom.

Last year at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, I spoke about the role of trauma in the writing lives of first-year college students. Whenever I talk about trauma, toxic stress, or mental health with other writing instructors, I feel deeply aware of my own students and the stories of abuse, neglect, violence, and anxiety that they hint at or explore outright in their own writing. If statistics can provide a baseline or a map, then many of our students are entering our classrooms with histories of trauma. [read more]

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Categories: Basic Writing, Guest Bloggers, Student Success, Teaching Advice
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Writing BY HAND

posted: 7.16.14 by Nedra Reynolds

At the end of my last post, I vowed to “spend some time this summer thinking about assignments or activities that will ask students to spend just a little more time in the deep end.”

The deep end, of course, requires actual swimming and not just floating, paddling, or splashing around. It has become challenging to engage students in complex texts (their own or others’) when their brains are becoming addicted to distractions, as Nicholas Carr discusses in The Shallows.

So what is a writing teacher to do? [read more]

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The Writing on the Wall

posted: 2.5.14 by Steve Bernhardt

We’ve been busy building new spaces for learning at the University of Delaware. As we upgrade classrooms and public areas, we are trying to build spaces that encourage the kinds of social interactions that support learning. In this Bits column and the next, I’d like to discuss some of our actions. [read more]

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My Dream Project to Document Writing Resources

posted: 4.18.13 by Traci Gardner

Several weeks ago, a colleague asked for photos of other writing centers on the Writing Center Mailing List. His goal was to share information about the size and resources in similar writing centers as part of his argument for a redesign and more space.

His request reminded me of a research project I dreamed up a few years ago. As I imagined it, I would travel from college to college, videotaping the people and resources devoted to teaching writing. I hoped to get photos and videos of writing centers, typical classrooms, computer labs, and writing program offices. I wanted to document what the typical office was like for everyone from a full professor to a graduate assistant. I would interview faculty, staff, and students about their programs, their favorite writing projects, and special events. [read more]

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CCCC 2013. Las Vegas, and the Miracle of ADHD: A Video Remix

posted: 3.25.13 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

On my recent journey to the Conference on College Composition and Communication 2013 (CCCC) in Las Vegas, Nevada, I could not stop taking pictures. The short version of my experiences is encapsulated—but far from contained—in the  below video I made from my photographs.  ADHD is like that, I have learned—an extreme concentration on capturing ephemeral sense impressions so that the afterimages stay pressed on the heart.

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The Classroom Film Festival Assignment

posted: 3.19.13 by Traci Gardner

Pop your popcorn, grab a soda, and settle in for the Classroom Film Festival! It may not be what you’d see at Cannes or Sundance, but it is a simple way to bring video into the classroom without any special equipment.

Last fall, I wrote about the significance video plays in the lives of the typical college-aged student. Students like video. When they visit a web site, the first thing they are likely to do is scan the page for a play button. As a result, I want to include video whenever possible.

When I design video assignments however, I’m always worried that equipment and software will be an issue. Usually students’ cell phones have video recording capabilities, and there are free software options that we can use. Even if we have the necessary tools covered, there’s the question of knowing how to use those tools effectively. There may not be enough time to teach students about filming techniques, their cameras, and the software works.

[read more]

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Teaching about Writing Instructions with Comics

posted: 3.18.13 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Instructions are obviously a nearly ubiquitous part of life in our visual culture and can be found everywhere from the emergency exit of an airplane to a tube of toothpaste. Unlike writing that is organized into prose paragraphs, instructions often take the form of an ordered list that may seem to be woefully lacking in sentence variety for lovers of intricate grammatical style.  However, encouraging students in composition classes to think about writing instructions can be a useful way to discuss audience and purpose and improve students’ understanding of different rhetorical situations.

Technical writing courses often include very interesting prompts about how to write clear, effective, and economical instructions.  My former colleague at UC Irvine, computer science faculty member David Kay, was fond of assigning the task of writing instructions for how to build a particular object from building toys, such as Legos or Tinker Toys.  Peer editing groups would need to try to follow the instructions to build the intended object (such as a specific house, vehicle, or animal) without illustrations and without verbal prompting from the instructor. [read more]

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