Category: writing

Fall 2021: ENGL 259 – Tentative Reading List

WeekDateTopics, Readings, Assignments, Deadlines1Aug. 24Introduction to the course / Literacy narrative(s)   Read: Sherman Alexie Nancy Sommers2Aug. 31The Parameters of the Task at Hand   Read: Ball and Loewe* Chapter: “America is Facing a Literacy Crisis” (Jacob Babb) Chapter: “First-Year Composition Prepares Students for Academic Writing” (Tyler Branson) Chapter: “You Can Learn to Write in … Continue reading Fall 2021: ENGL 259 – Tentative Reading List


What an Academic Book Review Does

Despite having a reputation for being an easy introduction to scholarly writing, book reviews in academic journals are a fairly-specialized genre. Their reputation for being easy comes from the fact that they're generally pretty short, so it's easy to juggle the relatively smaller number of demands than you'd have in an article or book chapter. … Continue reading What an Academic Book Review Does

I Will Tell You Everything I Know in 1,000 Words or Fewer

As I prepare to give a talk at an upcoming conference, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, I'm stuck by a complication in the task that lies ahead me. The talk I'm giving is about public intellectualism and the push among academics to do more public-facing, publicly-consumable work. It's about making what academics know … Continue reading I Will Tell You Everything I Know in 1,000 Words or Fewer

‘Remediation’ in the United States: A Brief History

‘Remediation’ in the United States: A Brief History San José State University Academic Retreat February 11, 2016 My area of research is the history of writing instruction in American higher education. More specifically, I study the functions that writing instruction plays in institutions of higher education. The organizers of today's event invited me to talk … Continue reading ‘Remediation’ in the United States: A Brief History

Why College Writing Matters

“Why College Writing Matters”Ryan SkinnellUNT Writing Program OrientationAugust 20, 2014Those of you who know me, and especially those of you who have taken my classes, know that I am pretty cynical about composition. My invitation to talk today about “Why College Writing Matters” may therefore seem like the height of irony. But obviously I don’t … Continue reading Why College Writing Matters

The End of Books

I just finished reading an article by Urusula Le Guin in Harpers about the precipitous decline of book reading over the past few years. Le Guin, herself a novelist, is not particularly worried about the decline of book reading. (She notes, for example, that the polls surveying people's reading only accepted "literary" works as valid. … Continue reading The End of Books

Want to Write? Write

In response to:EDUCATION; Want to write? Read; [HOME EDITION] Michael Skube. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Aug 27, 2006. pg. M.3A few years back, in preparation for hordes of students flooding the halls of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools alike, Michael Skube sent out a familiar (read: prototypical) call-to-arms, decrying the declining state of … Continue reading Want to Write? Write

Notes on a Name: Dissoi Topoi

Dear Readers, A note on the title of this blog: Dissoi logoi is an ancient Greek concept traditionally translated as "different words." It is generally understood as the practice of arguing both sides of an issue in order to better understand your opponent's point of view in an argument. Other people, however, have argued that … Continue reading Notes on a Name: Dissoi Topoi