College Writing

I’ve been teaching college-level writing since 1995, and in that time I’ve developed some core beliefs about it, the foremost of which is that one can’t do it very successfully unless one has developed some skill as a critical reader and thinker.   The development of these skills is a never-ending process, and all of my assignments demand that students reach just a bit (and sometimes more than just a bit) beyond their comfort zones.  In addition to encouraging critical thinking, my classes also provide a variety of strategies for invention (coming up with ideas to write about), drafting (including structure and organization), and revision (both global and surface).

Here on the blog, you can look for posts touching on a variety of college writing topics.  Suggestions are welcome!

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debi O'Neille, writing against the wind
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 13:48:25

    Wonderful!

    Reply

  2. caitmonsterq
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 01:06:49

    Hey, I will be starting to teaching College Writing as a Graduate Assistant this upcoming semester. Do you have any recommendations (for reading, for morale, for… anything?). I do have experience teaching writing, and tutoring writing at the High School and Middle School Levels.

    Reply

    • mph96
      Jul 12, 2013 @ 09:29:21

      I do indeed! Get a copy of St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing (Glenn and Goldthwaite, Bedford-St. Martin). It not only walks you through your first days and weeks in the classroom (classroom management, assignment development, skill sequencing) but also offers invaluable advice and seemingly innumerable pedagogical strategies for every stage of the writing process, and it also provides a wide array of scholarly articles on all kinds of teaching-related issues. You probably won’t find every single page personally useful (especially since you already have some teaching experience), but this is a book you’ll want to read from cover to cover, and you’ll come back to it again and again. Best of luck to you–I hope you’ll love teaching as much as I do! And let me know how it goes–I’d love to hear back from you!

      Reply

      • caitmonsterq
        Jul 12, 2013 @ 09:43:57

        Thanks.. I actually already have that book from when I took a teaching writing class as an undergraduate TA. I’m glad I didn’t sell it back.

      • mph96
        Jul 12, 2013 @ 10:41:47

        Ahh, good! I didn’t say anything about morale . . . I guess the morale booster that helped me the most when I first began teaching was someone’s comment that however inadequate or unprepared I might think I was, I still knew more (by virtue of having completed a BA, which at that point was all I had) than my students did. There will be days when you are literally only a day (or even a few hours) ahead of them, and that’s fine too. The other “best advice” I can offer is to keep your eyes and ears open. Have confidence in yourself, but also be willing to learn from your colleagues and peers. And try group work in the classroom . . I might have to do a post on that. 🙂

      • caitmonsterq
        Jul 12, 2013 @ 12:43:48

        Yeah I like group work. I acutally think I’m uniquely qualified to do that kind of work in the composition classroom because of my experience teaching middle and high school students. I have them do a lot of cooperative learning and group work. I’m atually interested in breaking students into writing groups based on their majors so that they can do an in-depth study of writing in their content area.

    • mph96
      Jul 13, 2013 @ 00:37:17

      What a cool idea! I’d love to hear how that goes!

      Reply

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