Study: Peer Review Increases Impact of Published Scholarship

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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

Join WAC at Fall for the Book

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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 festivalPanelists 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.

FftB Flyer - Academic Publishing

 

The Benefits of Faculty Writing Groups

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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

Announcing Writers of Mason!

At heart, all university campuses are communities of writers.

In Mason’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program, we work with a diverse array of writers. Mason’s students write in multiple contexts, with different styles, and for a variety of purposes. Our faculty teach writing in classrooms, seminars, and as part of their local and global field projects. Students and faculty alike contribute to the literature of their scholarly, research, creative, and professional communities. Continue reading

Resources and Reflections from the Northern Virginia Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute 2016, Part 2

Image via The New York Times Learning Network

Image via The New York Times Learning Network

Emily Chambers is a former WAC GRA and is studying for her M.A. in Teaching Writing and Literature. Her main interests are faculty development and curriculum resources. Prior to coming to GMU, she taught sixth grade English in Culpeper County, VA; now she teaches composition at GMU. She can be reached at echambe5@masonlive.gmu.edu.

Each year, teachers who participate in the Northern Virginia Writing Project Invitational Study Institute (NVWP ISI) create an incredible number of resources, and this year was no different. At the ISI, each teacher consultant (as graduates of the ISI are called) presents a demonstration of a writing lesson they have successfully taught in their classroom. This year, teacher consultants presented on everything from found poetry, to improv, to visual literacy. Each lesson is focused on teaching a writing skill to all students; what follows is a sample of just a few of those lessons.

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The Importance of A Writing Community: Reflections from the Northern Virginia Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute 2016, Part 1

Image via Peter Anderson

Image via Peter Anderson

Emily Chambers is a former WAC GRA and is studying for her M.A. in Teaching Writing and Literature. Her main interests are faculty development and curriculum resources. Prior to coming to GMU, she taught sixth grade English in Culpeper County, VA; now she teaches composition at GMU. She can be reached at echambe5@masonlive.gmu.edu.

For four weeks this summer, 18 teacher writers met in a crowded conference room, with a beautiful view of treetops, and natural sunlight filling the room through a wall-length window. Three tables were pushed together to form a “U” shape, and the tabletops were crowded with journals, laptops, pens, and coffee cups. Each day, the teacher writers discussed their teaching practice and wrote page after page. With chairs pushed close together, they shared insights, inspiration, and struggles with each other. In the morning, the room filled with the smell of breakfast and coffee brewing, the tea kettle just about to boil nearby. The teacher writers’ voices reverberated and resounded through the halls outside the room.

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“Naming What We Know About Writing” by Barbara Fister

Barbara Fister reviews Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, edited by Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle, in light of new threshold concepts that reframe the way we think about what we know.  Fister also writes to warn against the undue haste she believes some librarians have with this new Framework.  Instead of checklists and learning skills, she would have librarians and faculty think about sharing these Framework ideas in full, fleshed out form.  Foster recommends this collection of essays to librarians and those across the disciplines.

Most interesting for WI course faculty is the focus of the book Fister reviews.   Continue reading

Welcoming our new Assistant Director, Tom Polk

Tom Polk will be the Assistant Director for the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at George Mason University, beginning Spring semester 2016.  

Polk Photo

Tom’s Bio:
Before coming to George Mason University, Tom coordinated the writing center at Bowie State University in Maryland where his work focused on developing the campus’ writing culture.  He previously had taught Composition at Howard Community College in Maryland and Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina. His favorite part of being an educator is working with his students and tutors and helping them to grow personally and professionally.  Tom earned an M.A. from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University.  His scholarly interests include writing centers, assessment, and noncognitive aspects of writing.  He has also conducted research on the relationships between music and composition.