Seeking contributions from college writing instructors for The Writer Works Book (working title), a supplemental workbook that assists students in freshman writing courses, especially in co-requisite models
The purpose of this supplemental text is to reinforce the concepts that are taught in developmental reading, developmental writing, and freshman orientation courses so that students may continue to address and improve those skills while mastering the material taught in their college-level writing courses. This text especially works well in co-requisite writing models where students are transitioning between both developmental and college-level writing courses in the same term.
One idea that this text will aim to address is that many struggling writers have had negative experiences in their English classes and, therefore, don’t always see the English Professor as human, let alone someone who desires to help them succeed. Remember the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie’s teacher turns into a witch in his imagination after he learns that he’s received a “C+” on his theme paper? Or think of the anxiety that research has shown is caused when an instructor uses red ink to “bleed” all over students’ essays. Sometimes these negative connotations are put upon us by societal stereotypes, and other times we bring them on ourselves, perhaps unwittingly. I was observing a new developmental writing instructor one day and heard her proudly announce to her students that she was a “Grammar Nazi” who intended to “whip them into shape.” Although her intentions were innocent enough, I suggested later that she find a more positive phrase for her role in teaching grammar. I also reminded her that grammar was only one small segment of teaching writing.
In an effort to combat these negative images and present English Professors as human so that students are better able to relate to them and learn, I am soliciting brief anecdotes from college writing instructors that draw on experiences from their initial college days. These anecdotes should address situations that may have tripped them up a little or a lot. I am specifically interested in stories that address common new student issues, such as course management, time management, procrastination, technology, the student-professor relationship, research, documentation, textbooks, priorities, any stage of the writing process or writing in general, and using support services. The 15-20 anecdotes chosen will be sprinkled throughout the book under the section heading “Lesson Learned.”
To contribute, please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Lesson Learned Contribution” in your email heading. Attach a document that adheres to the following guidelines:
Format: MLA Style
Title: Lesson Learned
Body: Compose a few sentences to one paragraph of no more than 250 words about a setback or obstacle you had to overcome from your experiences as a college student. Stories may range from humorous to tragic but should include a final positive note.
Submissions: I will accept up to three submissions. Please include all three in the same document and indicate separate submissions with a title heading for each.
Information: Please include your full name, title, and the college where you teach. This information will be included with your anecdote. Also include your contact information for notification purposes.
Deadline: 27 April 2018
Notification: Contributors accepted for inclusion in the book will be notified no later than 11 May 2018 and will be expected to sign a contributor agreement before publication.
Publication: 1 August 2018