What are the aims in your writing course?

Video created by Elizabeth Uva Employee on Oct 14, 2015

    Bartholomae: The writing course for me is an introduction to the work of the academy.  That's how I understand the mandate that comes to me and to the program and to the department through a composition requirement.

     

    Rose: I cut my teeth in learning how to teach writing, through working with a variety of populations of people who were really behind the academic eight ball and were desperate to master the conventions of academic writing.  So my focus for quite a long time as I was learning how to teach people to write was on preparation.

     

    Bizzell: Ever since I really started teaching writing, the primary aim of my courses has been to equip students to succeed in the writing that they do for their other college classes.  That's always kind of been job one, and it's why I got interested in academic discourse and how to understand academic discourse and teach academic discourse.

     

    Adler-Kassner: A writing course is a really amazing gift that students receive.  It is perhaps the only time, or if there are more than one course, the only times that students can think about writing, what it means to participate in different genres, what it means to participate in different discourse communities for lack of a better term.  So I really want students to indulge in that gift and wallow in that gift and for us to do that together during the course of a semester.

     

    Sommers: One the goals, possibly the primary goal of my writing course, is to teach students how to work with sources.  I think about academic writing, that academic writing as a genre is defined by its use of sources, and so I want students to learn how to read sources closely and carefully and how to use them in their own writing.

     

    Powell: I want students to leave the classroom being able to do some very rhetorical things.  I'm a rhetoric teacher more than a composition teacher.  They need to be able to make a claim.  They need to be able to support that claim with evidence.  They need to understand the consequences of the evidence that they use.  They need to be interested and engaged in research, whether it's online or in the library or in the community.  They need to be able to write across a variety of genres.  I never let students leave the class having only written in one genre because I think it's not ethical of me to do so.  This is a place for them to practice, so they should practice with me.

     

    Rose: We've got to be careful that when we think about the teaching of writing for the academy, we should not at all think about it as some kind of monolithic, narrow thing that squelches students' voices, that robs them of a chance for self-expression, but rather think of it as this kind of rich palette that allows us to incorporate so many different modes of writing and kinds of writing and kinds of argument into these rich and sort of high-bred forms that still would pass muster in various disciplines.  And that to me becomes the joy of trying to teach folks how to write for the academy.

     

    Royster: Ultimately, I suppose that ground rock beliefs for me are not about the teaching of writing at all.  They're more about peace, about justice, about social responsibility, about a commitment to humaneness rather than just to humanity, even.  To what it means to be humane in a world that may not be operating quite that way.  So that's what drives, I think, my classroom choices, the way that I choose to develop my course objectives, my course activities, the kinds of things I talk about with students, that I really want to observe with students.