Tomorrow afternoon, the WAC Program is sponsoring a talk at Fall for the Book on “The Future of Academic Writing and Publishing.” The talk will feature five panelists who will consider how academic publishing is currently evolving and how scholars and editors might respond to that continuing evolution. One facet of this evolution concerns the prevalence of metrics that quantify the “impact” of a given article or journal. While impact metrics have been critiqued for a number of reasons, their use has remained prevalent, perhaps increasingly so. And that prevalence lead researchers John Rigby, Deborah Cox, and Keith Julian to wonder what impact factor metrics might reveal about academic writing beyond the circulation of a particular text. Continue reading
Writing Across the Curriculum is proud to sponsor “The Future of Academic Writing and Publishing,” a special event at George Mason’s annual Fall for the Book festival. Panelists Adam Winsler, Emily Green, John Warren, Laura Poms, and Doug Eyman will consider how academic writing has changed to reflect digital landscapes, diverse audiences, and new publishing platforms. This multidisciplinary panel will also contemplate recent challenges to definitions of academic writing and how we might anticipate further changes in coming decades.
Please join us Thursday October 11, 2018 at 4:30pm on the 3rd floor of the Johnson Center in Meeting Room G.
Since we are still feeling inspired by the Stearns Center’s fantastic conference and its theme of “Small Changes, Big Impact,” we thought that we’d share a few more ways to support reading in the writing classroom. This week, however, we are offering a more complete resource with a series of useful reading strategies that we can teach to our students. Continue reading
In our last post, we highlighted the need for faculty to think more intentionally about the ways in which they support student reading, particularly in college writing courses. This might sound like it requires large-scale changes in teaching, but it doesn’t have to: we can start small. In fact, the theme of this year’s Innovations in Teaching and Learning (ITL) Conference should help us realize that: “Small Changes, Big Impact.” With that theme in mind and the conference just two days away(!), we thought that we would share a small change that can help us better support our students’ engagement with reading. Continue reading
As writing instructors, we talk a lot about writing and how to teach writing. The fact is that WAC programs emphasize the value of teaching writing for both the learning and professionalization of our students. But this emphasis can often overshadow the value of reading, much to our and our students’ detriments. Continue reading
While writing specialists broadly understand that writing helps students learn, we also advocate for writing assignments that prompt students to think rhetorically: how writers use texts to convey meaning appropriate to an audience in a given context. As a part of this conversation, writing specialists talk about the importance of audience, but research in writing studies, including here at Mason, reveals that college writing assignments do not commonly address an audience beyond the instructor, who typically is addressed as an evaluator. Continue reading
It recently occurred to us that, while we have been sharing resources about designing assignments this semester, we haven’t actually shared any samples of designs. These resources are helpful when considering how to design our assignments, but they don’t show us how to communicate that assignment through a prompt sheet. So, they compel us to ask: what does a good assignment sheet actually look like? Continue reading
A big challenge for faculty is finding time to write; especially during a busy semester, we can easily find a distraction that will slow down progress on any number of projects that we have just started, gained some momentum on, or almost finished. To (re)claim time, faculty on Mason’s campus meet every Friday morning to write. Our Friday faculty write-ins are popular with attendees who report a number of benefits, including progress on projects. Continue reading
This semester, WAC Mason has been thinking about and studying the ways in which faculty design writing assignments. While it seems common for instructors to think about the content of writing assignments, we sometimes forget to talk about the process of writing assignments: how do we develop them? What should we consider as we develop them? Continue reading