First-Year Writing

The Difference Publics Make

by Howard Fisher When teaching students to anticipate how their work might circulate in the world, writing instructors understand the importance of posing questions about rhetorical ethos: who uses the writing and how the social positions of readers will shape their needs, expectations, and reliability judgements. However, in the workshop I co-led with Mckenzie Bergan earlier […]

Apologia Pro Dulcibus Frumentorum

Apologia Pro Dulcibus Frumentorum: An Appreciation of One Too Commonly Ignored Contributor to Social Bliss, Conjugal Stability, and Civic Cordiality, (Or Why Candy Corn Is Super Sweet) By Tom Layman IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION, while speaking with some students of supposed good standing, and teachers who I believed were touted for the quality […]

The Teacher’s Body

image from “Welcome Back, Kotter” (popular sitcom, c. 1975); paper airplane stuck in teacher’s thick, curly hair This week in the 5100 seminar (you know, the Theory and Teaching of Writing gig), we are turning our thoughts, talk, activities, readings to:  The Teacher’s Body.  Yes, we all have one!  And some of you have probably […]

November 2016 Teaching Workshop: Creativity in Critical Writing

It wasn’t too long ago (though, because it took place before the Thanksgiving break, it feels like years have come and gone in the meantime) that FYW held a teaching development workshop on a topic that’s especially dear to my heart, Creativity in Critical Writing. In the workshop, we discussed several important questions, including . […]

College-Level Writing: Pedagogy and Its Contexts

In his blog, The Write Space, Director of the Connecticut Writing Project Jason Courtmanche thoughtfully commented on Joseph Teller’s recent opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Are We Teaching Composition All Wrong?” Below, we’ve reblogged Jason’s entry (which you can find in its original habitat here)— College-Level Writing: Pedagogy and Its Contexts One of […]

September 2016 Teaching Workshop: Assignment Development

The moving force of inquiry is the existence of questions that are posable relative to the “body of knowledge” of the day but not answerable within it. Inquiry sets afoot a process of a cyclic form . . . —Nicholas Rescher, Process Philosophy, p. 65 Yesterday, the First-Year Writing Program facilitated a workshop on assignment […]

February Teaching Roundtable: Teacher Immediacy in the Digital Age

I became interested in the topic of immediacy in teaching—students’ perception of the physical and psychological distance between teacher and student (as defined by Gorham)—by reflecting on my own early teaching experience. As a young college instructor, I was often concerned about my authority in the classroom and what I was projecting to my students. […]

It’s all just in the words

As academics, no matter our level or field, we are used to the conventions of our field as well as the language, the jargon, used in our environment. While I speak of academics, every profession has its own jargon, it is used to communicate efficiently, and simultaneously it establishes our own knowledge and understanding of […]

What is an Audience?

As part of the “rhetorical situation” most students either pick up on or are explicitly taught, “audience” looms large as the writer tries to predict exactly what will move those who hear or read the work. Other pieces enter the picture, too—purpose, occasion, for example—and this triumvirate serves as a kind of cloud into which […]

Should First-Year Writing Be Academic Writing Only?

Every August, when I introduce the UConn’s First-Year Writing course to new instructors, I present the course—“the pedagogy”—as a fairly coherent set of approaches and practices coming out of a particular tradition, which we do our best to engage with, revise, and renew each year. I encourage new instructors, who may be best positioned to […]