Composition Theory and Practice
English 481 / University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign / spring 2014
Teaching writing is one of the harder and most rewarding aspects of being a language arts teacher. In this course, we will explore how different theories of written composition lead to various approaches to teaching students both how to write and about writing. Throughout this class, we will explore critical perspectives on many things you'll do as a writing teacher: designing assignments, responding to student writing, creating group writing assignments, and supporting multimodal writing. The overarching goal for the class is for students to develop a repertoire of critical skills to use when teaching writing.
William Ayers, Ryan Alexander-Tanner. (2010). To Teach: The Journey, in Comics
Projects and Grades
→ class participation (20%)
To obtain disability-related academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the course instructor and the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) as soon as possible. To contact DRES you may visit 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, call 333-4603 (V/TTY), or e-mail a message to email@example.com.
Respect for diversity of all kinds — race, ethnicity, age, sex and gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, political and ideological belief, and so on — is vital to creating a productive intellectual environment. Exploring these diversities and differences can be our most valuable resource as a class. Please respect the other members of the class at all times. Disagreement is welcomed; disrespect is not. If you feel you are being discriminated against and/or harassed in this class, please contact the instructor immediately.
Students are responsible for active and respectful in-class and online participation. By "active" I do not mean that you must verbally participate in every class session to get a good grade. Instead, I simply insist that you be attentive, engaged, and thoughtful in the classroom.
late and missed work
Un-arranged and un-excused late work will not be accepted. For information on excused absences, see the student code: admin.illinois.edu/policy/code/Full_Code_web2013.pdf
technology in the classroom
Using a smart phone, iTouch, laptop, or similar technology for viewing readings or doing research during class is encouraged.
Texting, emailing, FaceBooking, Instagrammatical activity, or using other messaging software during class will be treated as an unexcused absence (in terms of your participation grade).
For a clear description of what constitutes plagiarism at the University of Illinois, see UIUC's student code: admin.illinois.edu/policy/code/Full_Code_web2013.pdf
writer's workshop visits
I encourage you to take advantage of the writer's workshop. If you visit the university's writer's workshop for help with work in this class, please let me know so I can factor that visit into my assessment of your work.
In calculating your grades, I use these university-specified grade values:
Only LAS Student Academic Affairs may grant an I (incomplete) grade in undergraduate courses. An I automatically becomes an F unless replaced by a passing grade by the middle of the next semester, if the student is re-enrolled. If the student does not re-enroll and the incomplete grade is not replaced, it becomes an F after one calendar year.
(subject to change)
Wednesday, January 22
Week 2: Writing, Shame, and Punishment
Monday, January 27
Week 3: Writing, Shame, and Punishment
Monday, February 3
Week 4: Writing Process(es)
Monday, February 10
Week 5: Error and Correctness
Monday, February 17
Week 6: the Five-Paragraph Essay and Formulaic Writing
Monday, February 24
Week 7: the Five-Paragraph Essay and Formulaic Writing
Monday, March 3
Week 8: Unschooling
Monday, March 10
Week 9: Cheating as Literate Activity
Monday, March 17
S P R I N G B R E A K
Week 10: Discussion Questions: Literacy and Technology
Monday, March 31
Week 11: Teaching Literature and Other Complex Texts
Monday, April 7
Week 12: Personal Writing and Voice
Monday, April 14
Week 13: "So, How Do We Teach Writing?"
Monday, April 21
Week 14: "So, How Do We Teach Writing?"
Monday, April 28
Week 15: Teaching Graphic Narratives
Monday, May 5
site online January 21, 2014