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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

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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Horizontal divider Barclay Barrios

3e Progress

posted: 1.28.15 by Barclay Barrios

I’m happy to say that we’re pretty much done with the bulk of the work on the readings and apparatus for the third edition of Emerging.  Whenever I go through a revision cycle I am reminded of just how much work it can be to put together a textbook.  Fortunately, I am also reminded of just how much fun it can be, too. [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios, Emerging, Readers
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Look it up!

posted: 1.27.15 by Steve Bernhardt

Working on some medical texts last week, I was continually impressed with the ease of looking up unfamiliar words. Pretty much without fail, if I right-clicked on a medical term, Adobe Acrobat would drop a box with the last choice being Look up “xxx”:

[read more]

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Categories: Steve Bernhardt, Uncategorized
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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

Quizzes Work: True or False?

posted: 1.27.15 by Traci Gardner

Last month, I considered the strategy of including quizzes in a writing course. Essentially, while I hated pop quizzes as a student, I thought I might be shortchanging students who do well as test takers. I decided to try quizzes in the online technical writing course during Virginia Tech’s Winter Session.

Now that the course is over, I have to admit that the quizzes seemed useful and effective. Logistically, the system was simple to set up. [read more]

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Categories: Assessment, Business Writing, Learning Styles, Traci Gardner
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

Multimodal Mondays: Composing within the Blogosphere

posted: 1.26.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Kim Haimes-Korn.

When I first started using blogging in my classes it was in an advanced writing class as a specialized genre, presented as an extension of the classical essay form. This was easy to demonstrate to students because of the particular characteristics:  the desire to discover, the conversational tone, the writerly movement between the specific and the universal, the strong sense of audience engagement.   I also have students create electronic portfolios in many of my classes. The portfolios provided a place for students – as working writers – to revise their writings and showcase their work in public arenas. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Revising, Teaching with Technology, Writing Process
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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 dictionary.com went with “exposure,” related to the fears surrounding Ebola. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Popular Culture
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Horizontal divider Jack Solomon

Getting Covered

posted: 1.22.15 by Jack Solomon

Perhaps someday books will no longer have covers, but until then the physical packaging by which a book is presented to the world remains an interesting, if rather specialized, topic for semiotic exploration.

Some book covers are famous—like the original artwork for The Great Gatsby, which actually influenced Fitzgerald’s composition of his novel.  Others are notorious, like those that adorn the covers of Harlequin Romances.  Sometimes covers are designed simply to let the reader know what to expect, but more often they are marketing devices intended to appeal to a reader’s interests, curiosity, aesthetic tastes, or desires. [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon, Popular Culture, Semiotics, Signs of Life in the U.S.A., Visual Rhetoric
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Horizontal divider Barclay Barrios

What’s a Syllabus?

posted: 1.21.15 by Barclay Barrios

Amazing how quickly the break goes, right?  Here at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) we’ve been back since January 5 (we start so early!) so I’ve been thinking about syllabi and wondering just what a syllabus is (or might be) (or could be) (or should be).

I’ve known some who consider the syllabus a contract and in fact implement some form of contract grading (à la Peter Elbow) and certainly here at FAU the syllabus is, in part, a bureaucratic instrument, filled with mandated statements to ensure compliance with various state and university policies.  But I think for me, a syllabus is something else, and I have been trying to figure out what that something else is. [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios, Teaching Advice
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Horizontal divider Susan Naomi Bernstein

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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New Year, New Semester, New Class

posted: 1.7.15 by admin

Happy 2015!

We hope your holiday season was filled with good cheer and some well-deserved rest. Bits will be returning with new posts following the MLK, Jr. holiday on January 19th.

In the meantime, as you put the finishing touches on your syllabi and assignment plans, we encourage you to look back at our trove of great posts by our distinguished authors for some new approaches and fresh activity ideas [read more]

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Categories: Uncategorized
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