Developing Writing Abilities

English 612 - Spring 2008

About the Course:

"Developmental aspects of learning to write. Basic vocabulary of psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic theory. Design composition sequences for different
academic levels" (HSU Catalog).


Dr. David Stacey

Web Sites of my Esteemed Classmates










 The Eclectic Approach

Professor Stacey's "eclectic" approach drew on a wide variety of materials, topics and even disciplines. One notion united this wide array of information and pointed out the necessity for collaborative work in composition studies:

Learning, writing,
creativity and invention are
social processes.

Links to My Class Work

Literally all the work I did in this class, aside from my notes, can be found online. Here is a brief overview. Click on the links to find out more.

Improv Day: One very unconventional class session, which will surely be among the highlights of my grad school experience, was when acting instructor James Peck of Dell'Arte International theatre school came to teach us about improv. It was so fun we nearly forgot that improv is of vital relevance to our future teaching experiences! A teacher can walk into a classroom with a plan, but she has to be ready to adjust to the other people she encounters there.

Weblog: According to Karol

I wrote a number of blogs in response to assigned readings:

Nicenet: Responding to Music 

At the beginning of the semester, Dr. Stacey had us listening to jazz music and writing responses on a site called Nicenet , the Internet Classroom Assistant. These are my responses.

Wednesday Forum 

We sometimes summarized our experience in entries in the Wednesday Forum at our instructor's Moodle site. In my entry, "All About Last Tuesday," I write about exigency, the motivator of desires that give rise to genre, according to Bawarshi. I also mention an intriguing idea our professor explored in class, Creative Critical Re-writing,  an approach to literary analysis.

Reflective Essay 

At the end of the semester, I wrote  "Sampling Dr. Stacey's Banquet: A Taste of What I Learned in English 612," a reflective essay about the insights I developed taking this class.

Group Project 

Finally, the class as a group  completed a multimedia, collaborative project using a publishing website called Voicethread.

This & That 

A few more things worth mentioning that I learned in this class:

  • I am not an audio learner, but many people are, including many of my future students.
  • Failure is even more interesting than success because of the world of different possibilities it opens. 
  • Resistance greatly limits the quality of my own learning experiences. 
  • I miss playing and need to find a way to include it in my life.

Themes Explored:

  • Dramatism
  • Identification
  • Rhetoric
  • Assessment
  • Development
  • Responding to student writing
  • Collaborative learning
  • Genre theory
  • Improvisation
  • Metaphor
  • New jazz studies
  • Sonic literacy
  • Jazz consciousness  

Authors Assigned:

  • David Blakesley
  • Anis Bawarshi
  • Kenneth Bruffee 
  • Kenneth Burke
  • Richard Haswell
  • John D. Ramage
  • Michael Jarrett
  • Keith Sawyer