National Writing Project

What is College Writing Today?

Date: July 26, 2012

Summary: Hear what's happening with writing on our nation's campuses with three faculty guests. This show focuses on writing in the major, in upper division courses, and in general education content area courses. Our guests for this show have extensive experience working with faculty who teach writing in their disciplines and have insight into the wide variety of genres.


Excerpt from Show

Joan Mullin , Department Chairperson, English, Illinois State University:

When you talk about moving away from, maybe, or moving to reading-driven and analytic writing—moving away from that—is something that I think we've been trying to do from the ground up. Not just at the upper division levels, but really starting students when they come into the university about thinking how language is perhaps not how they have conceptualized it. We tend to have students who think, as I've said, that they've learned the game of using language. They're pretty comfortable with getting As and Bs on their papers—they can pretty much scope out what the teacher wants—and what's difficult for students when they come to the university is that all of a sudden the teachers don't want what they've wanted before from them; writing is not as templated. And as they get into the disciplines, they find that the way that they've analyzed and thought and used evidence in primarily their English departments, but even in their high school classes and other disciplines, isn't working as well for them and they get frustrated as well as do the faculty.

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Duration: 1 hour

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