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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

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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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Writing Center
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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

Photography and Technical Writing

posted: 12.16.14 by Traci Gardner

Earlier this month, Edutopia’s post on Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners explored photographs’ potential for analysis, reflection, and organization. The article was focused on younger, English language learners, but the ideas made me think about possibilities for my technical writing students. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Traci Gardner, Visual Rhetoric
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Horizontal divider Donna Winchell

Holiday Appeals

posted: 12.12.14 by Donna Winchell

I just read on about the Hendersons of Hurricane, Utah, who have cancelled Christmas in an effort to teach their three children to stop being disrespectful and to stop acting entitled. They will celebrate the religious meaning of Christmas, but Santa won’t be visiting their house this year.

Ads also appeal to their audience’s values, and during the Christmas season, there is an extra push to remind people to exhibit the spirit of Christmas by sharing with the less fortunate. If you’ve ever dropped some money into a Salvation Army bucket–or felt guilty for not doing so–you have been targeted by one of the most visible of the season’s appeals to values.We all know the common complaints about the commercialization of Christmas. In fact, the Christmas season is a good time to look at the commercials that start showing up around Halloween. If we think about commercials as arguments designed to convince us to buy a product or act in a certain way, we can analyze the needs and values that they are appealing to. [read more]

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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

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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Horizontal divider Barclay Barrios

Trigger Warnings

posted: 12.10.14 by Barclay Barrios

I learned about trigger warnings for the first time this semester.

Trigger warnings, whether presented on syllabi or before class readings, warn students that material in the course (such as content on sexual abuse, war, or rape) could trigger those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  At the very start of the semester I learned about them when one of our Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) approached me about a student in her class. [read more]

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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

The Difference Technology Can Make

posted: 12.9.14 by Traci Gardner

What you see in the photo on the right is the Logitech Professional Presenter R800 with Green Laser Pointer, one of the best purchases I have ever made for the classroom.

Last spring, one of the students in my technical writing class had a remote like the Logitech Presenter, which his group used as they made their presentation. It seemed like an awkward “pass the conch” game, as group members passed the remote back and forth to give their portion of the presentation, but it was better than all of them shuffling around at the keyboard. Seeing the tool in action, I realized that I needed a similar remote for my Writing and Digital Media class. [read more]

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Categories: Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

Multimodal Mondays: Wrapping it Up – From Digital Badges to E-dentities

posted: 12.8.14 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Jeanne Law Bohannon.

 I began my posts for this semester’s blog with a piece about e-badges, and how students develop their e-dentities through the production of personal e-badges.  As my students and I wrap up our semester, we are thinking about what it means to create and nurture our e-dentities.  We have developed and grown our e-dentities for the past few months on public domains, through an initiative led by the University of Mary Washington, Emory University, and this semester, at my school, Southern Polytechnic State University. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Andrea Lunsford, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Teaching with Technology
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Horizontal divider Susan Naomi Bernstein

Nothing Is Fixed: For Ferguson

posted: 12.8.14 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

As a white woman with a vivid childhood memory of the uprisings that followed Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968, how could I make sense of the Ferguson grand jury verdict— in and out of class?

At the time of the announcement, our classes had dispersed for the Thanksgiving holiday. I had already assigned the term’s final writing project and was deeply ensconced in catching up with grading students’ essays. When we reconvened for the last week of classes after the holiday, all attention would be focused on completing the coursework. Yet the work of the course, as an introduction to academic writing, would remain deeply intertwined with all of our lives. [read more]

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Categories: Basic Writing, Susan Naomi Bernstein
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Horizontal divider Jack Solomon

Semiotics Begins at Home

posted: 12.4.14 by Jack Solomon

The practice of popular cultural semiotics has much in common with both anthropology and sociology: after all, cultural semiotics, too, analyzes human behavior.  But it is important to point out that there are a number of methodological differences that distinguish the semiotic from the sociological or anthropological approaches, one of which I wish to explain here. [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon, Popular Culture, Semiotics
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

Why I Value Conferences So Much

posted: 12.4.14 by Andrea Lunsford

A recent discussion on the WPA listserv about conferences—the pros and the cons—caught my attention. I read with great interest, particularly as Bob Yagelski described the writing program at SUNY Albany and the important role that conferences played in it. Bob’s comments reminded me of one of the great lessons we learned during the five-year longitudinal Stanford Study of Writing. In interviews during these five years, and in conversations since, students told us over and over that what helped them improve most in their writing was what research team member Paul Rogers dubbed “dialogic interaction.” [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Teaching Advice
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