Crafting Writers: A Discussion of Technology in the Writing Classroom

By Rachel Stevens, IWP intern, RTW MA & TESL Certificate Student

I am not a writer.

This is what I have been telling myself for years, through one English degree and then another, through teaching and tutoring others about how to write. I have identified as a teacher, an editor, a freelancer, a blogger, and a lover of words, but one thought has stubbornly remained:

I am not a writer.

Stubbornness notwithstanding, my time interning with the IWP and teaching my writing students has made me question my own resolve to maintain a non-writer identity.  How can I expect my students to believe me when I say that we are all writers if I stand rather hypocritically outside the writer’s circle? The simple answer is that I cannot. And so, after two years of exploring writers’ identities, a year of teaching composition, and a semester of addressing student writer needs across disciplines with the IWP, the time has come for me to finally acknowledge that I am a writer

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Teaching Discipline-Specific Writing: Resources and Advice

By Laura Rosche,  IWP Intern, RTW MA Student

The best piece of teaching advice I ever heard with regards to composition was simple.

In his article, “Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking: Sorting out Three Forms of Judgment,” Peter Elbow, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, writes, “Good writing teachers like student writing” (200).

It seems so obvious to me in retrospect. I am a better teacher when I am enjoying my students’ writing because I feel more capable of being constructive rather than critical. Continue reading

The Face of Writing Students

By Rachel Stevens, IWP intern, RTW MA & TESL Certificate Student

Who are writing students?

My fellow Interdisciplinary Writing Program interns and I have addressed this question at length in this semester’s IWP classes, and the answers beget more questions on the topic, all of which propel our efforts forward.

In Erika Lindemann’s “What is Writing” she states, “If [teachers] write as frequently as we ask our students to, we will be better able to share with them the strategies and habits of experienced writers engaged in our own wars with words” (13).

As a graduate student of rhetoric and an English composition teaching assistant, I am guilty of taking Lindemann’s words for granted.  Continue reading

Student Writing: An Issue of Motivation

By Laura Rosche, IWP Intern, RTW MA student

In his chapter, “Discourses and Social Languages,” from An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method James Gee (1999) writes, “Language has a magical property: when we speak or write we craft what we have to say to fit the situation or context in which we are communicating. But, at the same time, how we speak or write creates the very situation of context. It seems, then, that we fit our language to a situation or context that our language, in turn, helped to create in the first place” (11). I’m constantly in awe of this fact. Continue reading