A. Required Texts:
Connors, Robert and Cheryl Glenn. The New St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing. St. Martin’s, 1999.
Lindemann, Erica. A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers. Oxford, 1995.
Lavonne Good, Tina, and Leanne B. Warshauer. In Our Own Voice: Graduate Students Teach Writing. Allyn & Bacon, 2000. [GSTW]
B. Schedule of Assignments:
UNIT ONE: PREPARING FOR CLASS:
Week 1: Designing writing courses, syllabus and lesson-planning:
(1) Read Lindemann, Ch. 15, and look at the sample lesson plans and syllabi in St. Martin’s, pp. 12-17;
(2)create your syllabus and a one-page lesson plan for the first two classes;
(3) write a brief, one-paragraph assessment of the presentations you have heard by other TAs; (4) Read Chs. 2-3 of St. Martin’s.
Week 2: The history and significance of rhetoric and writing:
(1) The history of rhetoric: read Lindemann, Ch. 4, and furnish your own answer to the question “what do teachers (and students) need to know about rhetoric?” (1 page, double-spaced type);
(2) Why teach writing? Read Lindemann, Ch. 1, and explain how you would convince students of the importance of writing (1 page);
(3) Motivating students: Read the essays “Falling into a Motivational Style of Teaching” and “More Fun with Electroshock Therapy: Keeping Students Alive in English 101″ in Ch. 7 of GSTW; taking into account the insights of these pieces, explain what has worked for you and/or what motivational strategies you might use (1 page);
(4) Authority in the classroom: Read the essay “A Question of Authority: Dealing with Disruptive Students” in Ch. 4 of GSTW, and suggest how you might effect a balance between authority and collaboration (1 page).
UNIT TWO: ASSIGNING AND RESPONDING TO STUDENT WRITING:
(1) Assigning writing: Read Lindemann, Ch. 13 and St. Martin’s, Ch. 4. Use these texts to develop a series of three or four assignments (approximately one paragraph each) on one given theme or rhetorical strategy (e.g. a series of reading and writing assignments on narration or description or argumentation or prewriting, revising, etc.)
(2) Journal assignments: Read St. Martin’s, pp. 110-115, 176-179, and Lindemann, pp. 111-114. Suggest briefly how you would explain to students the use they should make of journals in your class, as well as your criteria for evaluation of the journals.
(3) Conducting conferences: Read Lindemann, Ch. 12, and the essay “Student-Teacher Conferencing and the Graduate Instructor…” in GSTW, Ch. 8; also review St. Martin’s, pp. 53-59. Recount one instance of a conference with a student which seemed to worked and another encounter which was problematic (1 page).
(4) Responding to student writing: (i) Read Lindemann, Ch. 14, and St. Martin’s, Ch. 6. Briefly note the similarities or differences between these three approaches (1 page); (ii) grade the sample papers given to you and explain how you would help the authors of these papers to improve their writing.
(5) Workshops: (i) Read St. Martin’s pp. 45-53 and “Collaboration as a Process: Reinforcing the Workshop” in Ch. 4 of GSTW. (ii) Make a checklist of questions that will guide students through the process of peer-review of one another’s draft papers. (iii) Explain how you would operate a class workshop for such peer-review.
UNIT THREE (FOR 101): RHETORICAL STRATEGIES:
(1) Narration/description/writing from personal experience: (i) Read the essay “Taking it Personally: Academic Discourse and Writing Personal Experience” in Ch. 6 of GSTW. Indicate briefly how you would explain to your class the importance of narration and description and how these might be integrated with other rhetorical strategies. (ii) Read Writing with a Purpose (WP), pp. 107-111,413-414, and produce a checklist of elements of narration/description that you would ask students to employ in their own writing.
(2) Argumentation: (i) Read WP, pp. 131-153. (ii) Develop a broad teaching schedule, covering 3-5 classes, of how you would introduce to students the elements of argument and guide them through the critical reading of arguments to the production of their own arguments. (iii) Produce a detailed checklist that the students can use in analysing and writing arguments. You might also want to consult St. Martin’s pp. 201-214 for classical arrangements of argument.
(3) Comparison and contrast: (i) Read WP, Ch. 112-115. (ii) Explain how you would introduce this rhetorical strategy to your students (its purposes, what examples you would use etc.) (1 page). (iii) Produce for your students a checklist of elements required for this strategy.
(4) Analysing literature: (i) Read WP, pp. 313-318, 325-331. (ii) Read the postings on the course website concerning the analysis of literature. (iii) Using the foregoing material and any other sources you think appropriate, develop your own set of guidelines for analysing a specific poem OR a short story OR a play of your choice (2 pages).
UNIT FOUR (FOR 102): CRITICAL READING, ARGUMENTATION, RESEARCH:
(1) Critical thinking and critical reading: (i) Read Current Issues (CI), pp. 3-9, 22-29. (ii) Develop a one-page checklist to guide your students through the process of critical reading. (iii) Use this checklist to generate a one-page guide for your students through the critical reading of a passage of your choice.
(2) Critical reading: argumentation: (i) Read CI, pp. 50-76. (ii) Produce a two-page schedule of how you would familiarise students with the various elements and strategies of argumentation. (iii) Write a one-page guide which will help your students to analyse an argumentative passage of your choice (you can refer to an example of such a guide in CI, pp. 105-115).
(3) Writing an argument: (i) Read CI, pp. 160-190. (ii) Develop a series of two lesson plans intended to guide students through the various stages of argumentative writing (2 pages total).
(4) The research paper: (i) Read St. Martin’s, pp. 82-95. (ii) Develop a series of brief exercises to guide students through the processes of (a) finding a suitable topic, (b) conducting library research, (c) producing an annotated bibliography, (d) writing an initial research proposal, (e) writing an extended research proposal, and (f) producing and organising first and second drafts of the research paper.
UNIT FIVE: WRITING AS A RHETORICAL PROCESS:
(1) Teaching invention: (i) Read St. Martin’s, Ch. 8. (ii) Develop three invention exercises for your students (two pages total).
(2) Teaching Arrangement and form: (i) Read St. Martin’s, Ch. 9. (ii) Summarise how you would explain to students classical arrangements of writing, as well as the arrangements suggested
by Larson and D’Angelo (two pages total). (iii) Indicate how you would ask students to structure an outline for a paper (1 page).
(3) Teaching style and grammar: (i) Read St. Martin’s, Ch. 9 and the essay “To Grammar, or Not to Grammar?” in GSTW, Ch. 9. (ii) Explain how you would integrate (or have integrated) the teaching of style, grammar and mechanics into your course.
UNIT SIX: THEORIES OF TEACHING WRITING:
(1) Teaching composing processes: (i) Read St. Martin’s, Ch. 7. (ii) Summarise each approach (half page each).
(2) Reflecting on theory and practice: (i) Read any four of the essays in Part III of St. Martin’s. (ii) Write a formal 6-8 page paper either (a) comparing two of the theoretical approaches to teaching writing or (b) explain the benefits and limitations of any one approach in your teaching practice.