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2 Posts authored by: Leah Rang Employee

As a development editor at Bedford/St. Martin’s, I recognize the importance of keeping connected to the first-year writing classroom – to new pedagogy and practice, to instructors, and to students. Our English editorial team learns a great deal from working with our distinguished authors, communicating with instructors during textbook reviews, and attending professional conferences such as CCCC, MLA, NADE, and more. But one of my favorite events is the Bedford New Scholars Advisory Board, and the 2018 program and participants do not disappoint.


First, a bit of context: The Bedford New Scholars Advisory Board is an ongoing venture begun by the Bedford/St. Martin’s English editorial team in 2008; it was formerly known as the Bedford/St. Martin's TA Advisory Board. Each year we contact program directors from ten leading graduate programs and invite them to nominate one of their outstanding graduate students to serve on an advisory board for the calendar year. By bringing together a motivated group of graduate students from across the country, we hope to hear more about the teaching challenges they face and the research in the field that excites them. They also give us feedback on the direction of our new projects. In the process, Bedford New Scholars participants have the opportunity to connect with other graduate students from across the country and to learn a bit about how publishing works.


Without further ado, I present the Bedford New Scholars advisory board for 2018:

  • Andrew Hollinger, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (nominated by Randall Monty)
  • Daniel Libertz, University of Pittsburgh (nominated by Jean Ferguson Carr)
  • Dara Liling, University of Maryland-College Park (nominated by Jessica Enoch)
  • Rachel McCabe, Indiana University Bloomington (nominated by Dana Anderson)
  • Emily Pucker, University of Alabama (nominated by Luke Niiler)
  • Skye Roberson, University of Memphis (nominated by Katie Fredlund)
  • Cecilia Shelton, East Carolina University (nominated by Michelle Eble)
  • Matt Switliski, University of New Hampshire (nominated by Christina Ortmeier-Hooper)
  • Lizbett Tinoco, Texas A&M University-San Antonio (recently of University of Texas at El Paso) (nominated by Kate Mangelsdorf)
  • Kristin vanEyk, University of Michigan (nominated by Anne Ruggles Gere)


Though tenure in the program is a full year, the most anticipated event is when all participants – advisory board members and English editors – gather together for the annual summit. This year’s meeting took place in Boston on June 20-22, 2018, in and around the Bedford/St. Martin’s office. We spent time getting to know each other over good food, conversation, and city tours in between introducing and getting feedback on the projects we are all working on.


On the Bedford/St. Martin’s side, we shared some of our exciting first edition projects, in various stages of development, to receive feedback from this advisory board of rising composition teachers, scholars, and administrators. These projects included the soon-to-publish Becoming a College Writer: A Multimedia Text by Todd Taylor, as well as some other new book and media projects in the works.


Bedford New Scholars board members also led the group by presenting their Assignments that Work, successful or innovative activities or assignments they have used in the classroom. As always, this was one of our most lively sessions, providing excellent questions and insights into pedagogy and practice. (Never fear! We hope to make many of these assignments available to you on the English Community very soon.)


Here are my Four Key Takeaways from this summer’s Bedford New Scholars summit:

  1. Assignments in the first-year classroom grow ever more varied and multimodal; we saw assignments that produced true crime podcasts, soundtrack playlists, and other new media such as infographics, videos, and websites. But through their assignments, instructors are also finding new ways to teach the core writing concepts of individual voice, synthesis, revision, and the rhetorical importance of the sentence.
  2. Recognizing, honoring, and teaching to students’ multiple languages is a growing focus in the classroom, one that requires a rethinking of how we teach writing assignments and present instruction.
  3. As part of professional development efforts for grad students, an Ideal TA Training Kit might include more attention to the general principles of teaching as a graduate student: more go-to classroom activity and assignment ideas (especially for a variety of courses like hybrid and online), books on teaching and juggling teaching with graduate student expectations, WPA-specific training workshops and webinars, and sample syllabi.
  4. These 2018 Bedford New Scholars are incredibly smart, driven, and passionate about their work and their students. Be on the lookout for them!


We at Bedford/St. Martin’s are excited to know and connect with these advisory board participants, who represent the future of the field. Speaking for myself, I certainly look forward to seeing each of them – not to mention past advisory board members! – at conferences and on scholarly (and textbook!) covers in the future.


Coming soon!: A Community page dedicated to the Bedford New Scholars program, where you can follow these advisory board members in the coming year as they publish Bits blog posts about their teaching and research. Stay tuned!

Bedford Bits and Grammar Girl are no strangers to each other. In fact, check out all of these posts that incorporate Grammar Girl into their teaching tips:


Now Bedford/St. Martin's and Grammar Girl have teamed up even more. Grammar Girl podcasts are now available in LaunchPads and Writer's Help 2.0 for new English titles. Students can access these podcasts on grammar, usage, and style on the go as an accessory to learning in their writing courses. Click on the links below to see walk-throughs of the media offerings for the following titles, which all include the Grammar Girl podcasts.


  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 


In addition to podcasts, the Grammar Girl blog makes a great accessory to the podcasts and textbook. Assign the content to your students when it supports an assignment, or have them analyze the website design or rhetorical strategy Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) uses in these posts to educate writers. 


The following blog post on writing a case study could work well if you're taking a writing in the disciplines or writing across the curriculum approach, if students will be writing papers for the social sciences. Or, perhaps you're teaching illustration or exemplification. Or primary research. Maybe all of the above.


How to Write a Case Study in 5 Steps

Five simple steps designed to take you from your pre-writing preparation all the way through to submitting your case study

By Varsity Tutors, as read by Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl 

Writing a case study for a college course can be a challenge. Although there are different types of case studies, you can count on two things to remain the same—they require analytical thinking skills and a great deal of research.

When composing a case study, you’ll likely be asked to explain a problem or situation and to then illustrate a potential or implemented solution. You should generally include these basic elements:

  • An explanation of the problem or situation being analyzed.
  • A description of the solution (or proposed solution) and its implementation.
  • A summary of the results and an analysis of the effectiveness of the solution.


The five steps that appear below are designed to take you from your pre-writing preparation all the way through to submitting your case study.


How Do You Write a Case Study?

  1. Conduct Research
  2. Begin By Summarizing the Situation and Why It Is Important
  3. Detail the Solution That Was Implemented
  4. Analyze the Results of the Solution
  5. Cite Any Source Material

1. Conduct Research

A case study is analytical in nature and can require plenty of research. This means that a large portion of the work is done before you start writing your study. Your case study should tell the story of your case from beginning to end, so you will need a thorough understanding of the different factors at play.


Say you plan to write about a city that was successful in reducing excess waste, specifically through recycling. Your first step will be to gather relevant information about the situation. For example, you may investigate the following topics:

  • What are the laws or policies related to this scenario, and when were they put in place? Have they affected the situation positively or negatively?
  • What are the important data points in both current and historical terms?
  • What have city officials and other influential figures said about the situation?


Depending on how in-depth your assignment is, you might rely on articles, other case studies, or even interviews with people. Gathering as much information as you can will help you analyze why the solution worked or did not work.


2. Begin Your Case Study By Summarizing the Situation and Why It Is Important

What are the conflicts or risks in the given scenario? Ensure you clearly lay out the basic facts of the problem or situation being addressed so the reader will understand why the solution was needed. This is where the statistics you gathered will help supplement your explanation, and you can describe the context of the situation either historically or in comparison to other similar situations.


3. Detail the Solution That Was Implemented

Describe changes in strategy or the laws of the city or state that aimed to reduce the problem. Include context for when and how the changes occurred: what was the process, and who were the main players?


Also make sure to include information on the time or cost involved in implementing the solution. And, if there were complicating factors, don’t leave those out. Explaining how unexpected complications were handled can also be important.


4. Analyze the Results of the Solution

Did it have the intended effect on the situation? If the solution could be a model for similar cases, explain the wider usefulness of understanding its impact. If the results were mixed or created results different from what was expected, what were the factors affecting that outcome? How could a more effective solution be found?


5. Cite Any Source Material

In a reference list at the end of your case study, it is vital to cite any source material you used in your writing. This includes articles, books, other case studies referenced, or any people you may have interviewed to gather information. Keep track throughout the research and writing process of all resources used—you will thank yourself later.


Lora Wegman is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.


SOURCE: The original post for Grammar Girl can be found at Quick and Dirty Tips: How to Write a Case Study in 5 Easy Steps 


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