This assignment, developed by Betsy Sargent for WRS 101: Exploring Writing (U of Alberta), tasks students with the following:
You are going to interview an individual in that field or line of work about the writing they do every day and how they go about doing it. Interviews with individuals who have more work and writing experience than you do—or experience of a different kind—can generate rich material to help you, your colleagues, and your instructor get a better sense of the wide variety of writing that gets done in the world.
This syllabus, for WRS 101: Exploring Writing (Fall 2011), is from Jon Gordon of the University of Alberta.
Below, from newest to oldest, are some textbooks that instructors might be interested in. Please write with other suggestions!
- Language Diversity and Academic Writing: A Bedford Spotlight Reader (2018), by Samantha Looker-Koenigs (see also Looker-Koenig’s article about her writing-about-language pedagogy in the Dec. 2016 issue of Teaching English in the Two-Year College)
- Writing about Writing: A College Reader (2017, 3rd ed.), by Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs, published by Macmillan (website links to instructor’s manual, videos with the authors, and a link to Wardle and Downs’ Bedford Bits blog)
- Everything’s a Text: Readings for Composition (2011), by Dan Melzer and Deborah Coxwell-Teague
- Literacies in Context (2007), by Shannon Carter, published by Fountainhead Press (available as a PDF via her academia.edu account)
- Considering Literacy (2006), by Linda Adler-Kassner, published by Longman. (website links to instructor’s manual)
- Conversations about Writing: Eavesdropping, Inkshedding, and Joining In (2005), by M. Elizabeth Sargent and Cornelia C. Paraskevas, published by Nelson Education
- On Writing: A Process Reader (2003, 1st ed.), by Wendy Bishop (appears to be out of print; could not find entry on McGrawHill’s website. Two later editions have been published))
Texts by a Single Author(s)
- Academic Writing: An Introduction (2014, 3rd ed.), by Janet Giltrow, Richard Gooding, Daniel Burgoyne, & Marlene Sawatsky, published by Broadview Press (companion website has additional exercises for each chapter and sample student essays; request exam copy for access to it)
- Exploring College Writing: Reading, Writing, and Researching Across the Curriculum (2011), by Dan Melzer, published by Equinox
- The Elements of Literacy (2009), by Julie Lindquist and David Seitz, published by Longman.
- In 2011, Betsy Sargent created this list of possible primary and supplemental textbooks for a University of Alberta FYC course, WRS 101: Exploring Writing
The University of Central Florida has been publishing Stylus: A Journal of First-Year Writing since 2010. The issues are open access, and if you browse you’ll find examples of outstanding undergraduate research in literacy, composition, and rhetoric, including literacy narratives and studies of discourse communities.
Check out this literacy memoir by Jehrade McIntosh, a student in Ligia Mihut’s English composition class at Barry University. Jehrade’s piece was published in the “Beyond a Single Language/Single Modality” Blog Carnival hosted by the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative.
On the WAW network Ning in 2014, instructors had a conversation about pilot programs implementing WAW approaches. With the contributors’ permission, we have copied and pasted the initial post and–in the comments–the replies.
Hi. I’m new here. We are heading into the fourth semester of a small, informal WAW pilot at Hunter College. For two semesters, I was the pilot. Now we are three teachers and next semester we will be at least four.
So far it’s been bottom-up and horizontal, run mostly below the school’s radar by a grad student and adjuncts, with support from WPAs who see us as an interesting experimental model.
We are thinking about issues like common course elements and goals, recruiting other adjuncts to do a kind of teaching that we know requires more work for no extra pay, and formulating programmatic assessments that move beyond rubric-based essay or portfolio readings so we avoid the negative washback effects and unanticipated misuses of information we generate, so that our assessment can deeply benefit our teaching.
We haven’t thought about “threshhold concepts” as such; but we agree with Liz Clark’s 2010 argument that we face a “digital imperative” so this semester we all taught paperless classes that included website portfolios and movie essays. Rhetoric feels important too: we all taught some classic rhetoric and some visual rhetoric, even as we learn it ourselves.
Wardle and Roozen’s goal of teaching to promote “rhetorical dexterity (Carter, 2008) across boundaries and in multiple contexts.” (111-12) feels like a powerful touchstone.
Anyhow, I’d love to talk here or directly at smolloy at hunter dot cuny dot edu.
On the WAW network Ning in 2011, instructors had a conversation about how to help students read scholarly articles. With the contributors’ permission, we have copied and pasted the initial post and–in the comments–the replies.
I’m in the process of meeting w/ and preparing a group of 9 of our part-time faculty here to pilot WAW in spring 2012. (It will be piloted in our second semester comp course.)
The one question I’m getting consistently, that I am currently unable to answer is about supporting students with the readings. I know Barb Bird has done a good deal of work on this and I’m sure others of you have as well. I’d benefit from seeing handouts, hearing about your approach, and advice on supporting instructors in their approaches!
(To read the replies, scroll below or click on “Comments,” above.)