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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

Have You Read “Vernacular Eloquence”?

posted: 5.28.15 by Andrea Lunsford

I don’t know how or why it took me so long to find this book, but once I did, I read it straight through (even though it’s nearly 450 pages long). It’s Peter Elbow’s latest work, and surely some of the best work he has done in his long and brilliant career. Check it out!

As you no doubt know, Elbow published Writing without Teachers way back in 1973, making a case for allowing students to write freely as a way to find their voice. He is an ardent and eloquent proponent of freewriting (a term coined by the late Ken Macrorie), and this latest book (published, like Writing without Teachers, by Oxford UP) carries on this tradition, but now with a decided twist. The subtitle of the book is “What Speech Can Bring to Writing,” and his answer is summed up in two words: “a LOT.” [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Drafting, Professional Development & Service
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Horizontal divider Barclay Barrios

TED Talk Teaching: Part IV

posted: 5.27.15 by Barclay Barrios

TED Talks are great teaching tools.  Each is visual, engaging, focused, and contemporary.  I think they make excellent supplements to the readings in Emerging, particularly because many of the text’s authors have been TED speakers.  And the interactive transcript is a bonus feature, letting students work with the text of each talk.

In this series of posts I want to highlight some particularly useful TED Talks and suggest some of the ways to use them in the classroom.

The Talk: Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, The World Isn’t Flat [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Critical Reading, Emerging, Teaching with Technology
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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

Mentoring Resources

posted: 5.26.15 by Traci Gardner

This week, I want to share the resources I developed, with help from some colleagues, for mentoring new attendees at the 2015 Computers and Writing Conference in Menomonie, Wisconsin this weekend. Even if you are not going to the conference, I think you’ll find resources that could be helpful to you or someone you know.

We built a website, Computers & Writing Conference Mentoring, which features a collection of resources for first-timers and mentors. The site includes tips and advice, first-timer stories, and suggestions for documenting participation at the conference. [read more]

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Categories: Professional Conferences, Professional Development & Service, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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Horizontal divider Susan Naomi Bernstein

Advice for New Teachers— and the Rest of Us

posted: 5.25.15 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

For a crowd-sourced blog post for “Beyond the Basics, ” I invited participants on the Council on Basic Writing Facebook page to respond to the following question: What one piece of advice would you offer to new teachers of Basic Writing? Why?

The responses clustered around three main themes:

  • Create classroom community
  • Draw on compelling pedagogy
  • Offer compassion, empathy, and transparency [read more]

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Categories: Basic Writing, Susan Naomi Bernstein, Teaching Advice
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

What I Learned in (High) School

posted: 5.21.15 by Andrea Lunsford

In March, I attended the 55th reunion of my class at Ketterlinus High School in St. Augustine, Florida. There were perhaps 25 of us there, out of a class of around 100, which seemed pretty darned good to me. Being with people I hadn’t seen—some for 55 years—was, well, bracing. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Teaching Advice, Uncategorized, Writing Center
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Horizontal divider Jack Solomon

Mad Men: The Finale

posted: 5.21.15 by Jack Solomon

I swear that I am not a fan of the now finally concluded television series, Mad Men (indeed, my returning to it provides an example of how popular cultural semiotics is not driven by what one likes but by what one finds significant), and danged if the much-anticipated final episode hasn’t proven to be strikingly significant. [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon, Popular Culture, Semiotics
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Horizontal divider Barclay Barrios

TED Talk Teaching: Part III

posted: 5.20.15 by Barclay Barrios

TED Talks are great teaching tools.  Each is visual, engaging, focused, and contemporary.  I think they make excellent supplements to the readings in Emerging, particularly because many of the text’s authors have been TED speakers.  And the interactive transcript is a bonus feature, letting students work with the text of each talk.

In this series of posts I want to highlight some particularly useful TED Talks and suggest some of the ways to use them in the classroom.

The Talk: Kwame Anthony Appiah: Is Religion Good or Bad (This Is a Trick Question) [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Critical Reading, Emerging, Teaching with Technology
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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

Talking about Audience and Social Media

posted: 5.19.15 by Traci Gardner

While the students I teach are typically adept at personal uses of social media, they often need to learn how to use digital tools for professional purposes as they prepare for their future careers.

This week, I had a personal experience that will make a great discussion starter to talk with students about audience and social media. It all started with my decision to replace my three-year-old phone while keeping my unlimited data plan. I went into the Verizon store and said I needed two things: I wanted to buy a new phone at full price, and I did not want to change my contract in anyway. [read more]

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Categories: Digital Writing, Traci Gardner
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

Multimodal Mondays: Using Listicles to Help Students Engage with Sources

posted: 5.18.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Caitlin L. Kelly, a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she teaches multimodal composition courses using 18th- and 19th-century British literature and serves as a Professional Tutor in the Communication Center. Alongside work on the intersection of religion and genre in British literature of the Long Eighteenth Century, she is also interested in exploring applications of a multimodal approach to composition to traditional literature pedagogy.

One of the most difficult assignments to teach is the one at the heart of most college composition courses: the research project. Taking students from brainstorming a topic to a polished argument over the course of a semester is daunting; in the composition classroom, we are tasked with teaching—under very inorganic circumstances—a research process that should evolve organically. And one of the most challenging parts of that process for many students is learning how to engage with sources once they have found them. This is where the listicle comes into play in my courses. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Assignment Idea, Digital Writing, Genre, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Peer Review, Teaching with Technology, Uncategorized, Visual Rhetoric
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

And Now a Word about Seeing Differently

posted: 5.14.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Last week I wrote about the urgent necessity to teach students to listen rhetorically, that is, to try as hard as possible to hear what the other person or group is saying—from their point of view. Listening has dropped out of the curriculum in most college classes, but it seems to me we have never been in more urgent need of people who can listen openly and fairmindedly.

Then this week I picked up a book I’ve been looking forward to for some time, the published version of Nick Sousanis’s Columbia dissertation, the first done entirely in comic book format. The book is called Unflattening and it is just out from Harvard University Press. [read more]

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