ENGL611 - Approaches to College Composition

In this course we’ll examine and evaluate current methods and strategies for teaching college composition, focusing in particular on how we can apply current composition theory and research in our classrooms. We will study topics such as process theories of writing; invention and argumentation; commenting on and assessing student writing; designing syllabi, writing assignments, and class activities; grammar and style; plagiarism, copyright, and intellectual property; genre; disability; language and cultural diversity; English as a Second Language writing; and visual, aural, digital, and networked composing. Throughout all of our writing and discussions this semester, we will analyze how composition theories speak to on-the-ground strategies for teaching writing.

Proposed Readings:  Conference on College Composition and Communication position statements, including

 “Students’ Right to Their Own Language” (1974),

“Teaching, Learning, and Assessing Writing in Digital Environments” (2004);

      “Writing Assessment Principles” (2009); and “Teaching Second Language Writing and Writers” (2009)

WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition

Canagarajah, Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

Ball and Lardner, African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom

Sommers, Responding to Student Writers

Duncan and Vanguri, eds., The Centrality of Style

Rife, Slattery, and DeVoss, eds., Copy(write): Intellectual Property in the Writing Classroom

Ramage, Callaway, Clary-Lemon, and Waggoner, Argument in Composition

Lewiecki-Wilson and Brueggemann, eds., Disability and the Teaching of Writing: A Critical Sourcebook

Bawarshi, Genre and the Invention of the Writer

Wysocki, Johnson-Eilola, Selfe, and Sirc, Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition

Writing Projects:

Weekly “Conversation Starters” (500 words each, posted to the course Canvas “Discussion” board). These short essays may include a critical analysis of the text’s main argument and supporting details or connections to outside reading or specific teaching situations.

You will complete your major writing project in four parts:

  1. Compose a four-page essay exploring an aspect of pedagogy that interests or concerns you.
  2. Compile a table of contents for an edited collection exploring a specific topic related to writing instruction. A minimum of 12 essays must be proposed for the collection.
  3. Compose an essay that introduces your edited collection’s special topic and its individual essays.

Design a half-day workshop for training new composition teachers on the theoretical and pedagogical dimensions of the same subject you explored in your edited collection.