NEW AT COLLEGE COMPOSITION WEEKLY: ONLINE INTERFACE AS EXORDIUM

New at College Composition Weekly: In the September College English, Rebecca Tarsa proposes strategies for creating an effective “exordium” for writing classrooms by examining how the digital interface works as an exordium in online participatory sites in which students voluntarily contribute writing. She draws on Teena Carnegie’s work to argue that the interface of an online site meets Cicero’s definition of the exordium as an appeal designed to “make the listener ‘well-disposed, attentive, and receptive’ to the ensuring speech.” In the case of an online site, the interface as exordium accomplishes this goal by “project[ing] to users the potential for interactivity within the site that matches their desired engagement while also supporting the ends of the site itself.” Adopting some features of online interfaces can trigger more voluntary and spontaneous writing in composition classes.

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THIS WEEK AT COLLEGE COMPOSITION WEEKLY: Student Understanding of Plagiarism

This week at College Composition Weekly: David W. Hartwig, writing in Teaching English in the Two-Year College,College Composition Weekly Banner argues that students come to college with good “objective” knowledge about what constitutes plagiarism but struggle to identify it in actual passages. He agrees with Rebecca Moore Howard that practices like “patchwriting” are steps toward effective academic discourse; these instances of apparent plagiarism, he argues, measure students’ ability to read and understand complex scholarly writing rather than their honesty. He urges that work on critical reading be coordinated with writing and that faculty across campus share the task of teaching the correct use of sources. http://tinyurl.com/q9aod2l

THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY AT COLLEGE COMPOSITION WEEKLY: CREATIVITY AND COLLEGE WRITING

In the September 2015 College Composition and Communication, Patrick Sullivan argues that composition should not relegate creativity to the creative writing classroom but should join other fields in seizing its potential as a vital component of cognition, transfer, problem-solving, and critical thinking and as a “luminous human capacity” that can be learned by anyone. http://tinyurl.com/okv4rpe

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NEW AT COLLEGE COMPOSITION WEEKLY: ENGAGING STUDENTS WITH ARCHIVES

VanHaitsma, Pamela. “New Pedagogical Engagements with Archives: Student Inquiry and Composing in Digital Spaces.” College English 78.1 (2015): 34-55. Web. 2 Sept. 2015.

Pamela VanHaitsma discusses an approach to involving students in archival research that she developed in first-year-writing classes at the University of Pittsburgh. Maintaining that students explore as well as create archives throughout their activities both in and outside of class, VanHaitsma hopes to connect the kinds of inquiry that archives make possible with the focus on student interest and lives that informs writing pedagogy. She also investigates how digital collection and dissemination options affect the process of using and building an archive. College Composition Weekly Banner.

NEW POST AT COLLEGE COMPOSITION WEEKLY: CRITIQUE OF ARGUMENTATIVE WRITING IN SCHOOL AND COLLEGE, RTE AUGUST 2015

Todd DeStigter of the University of Chicago critiques the emphasis on argumentative writing in schools and college, examining three widespread assumptions: that learning to write good arguments will develop thinking skills, prepare for good democratic citizenship, and enhance students’ potential for sociocultural mobility. Valorizing rational argument, DeStigter argues, closes off many legitimate and often more effective forms of personal and political action.College Composition Weekly Banner

NEW AT COLLEGE COMPOSITION WEEKLY: Heterosexual Readers Read LGBT Novels.

Writing in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, John Pruitt reports on a case study of eight heterosexual students who chose LGBT novels and met to discuss them without a teacher’s intervention. Recording the sessions, Pruitt discovered concerns about “authenticity”; he posits that the need to create authenticity in depicting a culture can encourage essentialized perceptions of that culture, despite the diversity of its members. He feels that insights into what students bring to literature before an instructor’s theoretical framing helps him better understand how to teach literature about difference.
http://wp.me/p5NPq1-2Z
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NEW AT JUST CAN’T HELP WRITING! How Much Grammar Do You Need? Part V: Rules Erudite People Break (and other erudite people notice)

Four rules I’ve seen broken in some rather surprising places. But these are the kinds of rules agents and editors are likely to notice.  Do you have candidates for this list? http://wp.me/p1KFmw-6H