|April 9 On Teaching Seminar focuses on student writing |
Many instructors are familiar with the difficulties student writers encounter in their courses. Understandably, students often feel the need to master content and have not yet learned the ability to communicate their ideas strategically. Teachers end up feeling frustrated with the need to focus on basic skills that they think students ought to already have learned (usually, it is assumed, in Comp. 101).
Taking as its premise that academic writing always occurs in conversation, the composition program has implemented "They Say, I Say," by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein into its classes. This book introduces students to essential rhetorical moves that they can use across the disciplines. The book synopsis says it all: “At a time when so many lament the decline of writing skills among Americans, "They Say, I Say" teaches the core moves of effective argumentative writing suggesting that there are certain moves that experienced writers use instinctively, and that the moves can be learned.” As students become familiar with these moves, they also become aware of how their voices might enter important academic conversations.
So if you have been frustrated with your students writing and thinking skills, come join Lori Robison (English) and Shane Winterhalter (Writing Center) who will lead the next On Teaching seminar, “Practical Strategies for Improving Student Writing at UND,” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Red River Valley Room, Memorial Union. The discussion will offer both food for thought and a pragmatic approach to talking with your students effectively about their writing. We invite you to this session as a way of thinking about how the work that the composition program is doing with this text could be reinforced in writing classes across the curriculum, and could therefore ultimately lead to better student writing at UND.
The series is co-sponsored by the Office of Instructional Development and Writing Across the Curriculum. To register and reserve your lunch, call Jana Hollands at 777-4998 or e-mail email@example.com by noon Tuesday, April 7.
-- Anne Kelsch, Director, Office of Instructional Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-4233