Monday, January 19, 2015

ENG 101 - Spring 2015 - Composition as Critical Inquiry

One of the most difficult challenges facing student writers today is the need to reconcile the literate skills learned through social media with the formal demands of academic genres such as essays and term papers.  Often, neither the social nor academic genres prove very helpful in occupational settings - you can't learn resume writing from the five-paragraph essay any more than you can learn it from Facebook.  This becomes still more complicated as you factor in the variety of disciplines represented in English 101 - I frequently teach students in business, nursing, the humanities, and other majors, and each academic field has it's own demands for "good" writing.

My goal as an instructor is to help students understand that there are differences between the types of writing they are expected to write.  From there, we look at how "good" writing in many genres will share requirements for evidence, relevance, and coherence - understanding the differences in approach can allow students to transfer skills from one genre to another.

Friday, August 8, 2014

ENG 227 - Fall 2014 - Introduction to Creative Writing

ScheduleRequired Texts - Course Policies - Assignment Types

Welcome to Creative Writing!  In this course, we'll be writing fiction, poetry, and memoir, with additional consideration of how audiences respond to the particular conventions of these genres.

Schedule of Readings and Assignments.  (This is also accessible via the Syllabus tool on ReggieNet.)

Links to Purchase Required Texts (via Amazon)

Friday, June 27, 2014

ENG 101 - Fall 2014 - Composition as Critical Inquiry

Welcome to English 101!

Unlike most traditional writing courses, the Composition as Critical Inquiry course at Illinois State follows a Rhetorical Genre Studies (RGS) model.  This often causes confusion because we don't focus on "perfecting" writing - unlike courses you may have taken in the past, we won't try to teach "the one style of essay" that will work for all your classes because that's an impossible goal.  Instead, we examine how differing audiences expect unique genres of writing - as you'll see, every audience will have its own definition of what "counts" as "good" writing, and successful writing requires that we adapt our words to match the specific situations we face.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ENG 227 - Intro to Creative Writing - Spring 2014

Creative writing features a tremendous variety of approaches and techniques.  For ENG 227, we'll be examining how to seek out new approaches applicable to our writing goals, and understand the successful writing habits to help us realize these goals, and then effectively present our work to interested audiences.

Major topics for this course include Poetry, Fiction, Life Writing, and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory.

ENG 247.02 - Intro to Fiction - Fall 2013

This is a course designed to help students develop new techniques both as a creative writer and as a critical reader. During the semester, students will be preparing a significant collection of writing, taking part in workshops with classmates, and reading a selection of outside works. Additionally, this course will place a significant focus on using the internet as a means to present creative work to relevant outside audiences - the types of audiences who may hopefully become loyal readers as students begin the road to publication.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

English 145 - Spring 2013 - Section 006

For English 145, Writing in the Academic Disciplines, the focus of our course will be using rhetorical genre studies to better understand the social effects of genres.  By applying Cultural-Historical Activity Theory to specific long-term projects, we'll examine how the production and distribution of written materials can significantly affect its social trajectory.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Literary Analysis: How to Answer a Question of Style and Effect

In analyzing the way writing works, there are a couple main functions your answer must provide.  It's important to cite specific details from the text, and then to discuss how these details create certain effects for the reader.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Setting and Specificity of Detail

Details make our writing real in the eyes of the reader.  And the best place to see detail (literally) is in the setting.  By examining how authors use setting to establish place, we can better understand how to use specific and relevant details to bring our writing to life.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Assigned Texts - English 227 - Fall 2012

For this course, we'll be using four rather thick anthologies.  I've selected these anthologies to provide a good overview of fiction, poetry, and memoir.  Here are links to purchase these books from Barnes and Noble (which may provide cheaper rates than the bookstore).

English 227 - Introduction to Creative Writing - Fall 2012

Welcome to English 227.  In this course, we'll be considering the variety in forms and genre of creative writing, and then examining the habits and mechanics of successful writing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Writing Program Assessment

For the Writing Program Assessment, you'll be creating some rather complex documents.
For the program assessment, we'll be going through a couple steps.  You'll do much of the organizational and planning work here in class, but you'll be doing much of the copying, pasting, and writing outside of class.  
Here's a quick guide to get your started.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Genre Analysis Assignment

This assignment is meant to prepare you for the larger Grassroots project by providing practice in writing genre analysis.  Starting with the genre examples you wrote in class and posted on Facebook today, you'll identify a genre convention from within that example and then discuss how that convention is used both in the genre as a whole (e.g. memoir) and in your example (a short example of memoir).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Project 3 Purpose Essay: Why We Write

As we transition to Project 3, you'll write a 1,000 word paper about a subject you are personally passionate about.  This essay should focus on two major areas: describing why your subject is important to you, and then describing how English 101 has prepared you to write about this topic.

Unit 3 - Grassroots - Spring 2012

This is the main page for Project 3, your Grassroots articles.  More information will be posted soon.  In the meantime, be sure to check the Grassroots Purpose Essay and the Genre Analysis Assignment for more information on the preparation assignments.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Metaphor and Imagery: Writing to Hold Your Reader

The following exercise is designed to help see the relationships between language and imagery.  By writing metaphors centered on concrete objects and extending them to abstract and even judgmental concepts, you'll see how the "real world" can be used to hold the reader's attention.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Unit 2 Meta-Document Requirements

For Unit 2, we'll be workshopping the meta-documents your group prepares.  Here are the main requirements for these projects.

Interviewing Professors: Setting the Groundwork for Your Writing Research

For Project 2, each group will interview a professor or instructor your selected discipline.  The professor interviews are meant to provide insights regarding the nature of writing in your field and to give additional direction to your writing research.

Please Note: These interviews are not meant as human subjects research.  You may not ask any personal questions during the interview, and you may not record the interviews (though you should certainly take notes during the interview).  Before posting notes or your interviewees name to your blog, must obtain either written or e-mailed permission, and you must make it clear that your interview may withdraw this permission at any time if he or she isn't comfortable being identified on your blog.

Annotated Bibliography: Organizing Research

Research is a crucial component of many projects in your academic and professional lives.  For Project 2, you'll use annotated bibliographies to organize your writing research.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quiz - Amy Tan and Writing Across the Disciplines

Today's quiz on the readings for Amy Tan and Writing Across the Disciplines will be an open-book group quiz.  For this quiz, you'll each work in groups to provide written answers to questions from the text.

Unit 2 Rationale: Writing Across the Curriculum

For the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) project, you'll be working in small groups to describe how writing is used in other disciplines.  This description of the project is meant to provide an in-depth description of the scope and aims of the project.