What Do I Need to Do to Teach a Writing Across the Curriculum Course?
Indie concert: Arms & Sleepers, American Royalty and Gianni Paci
Arms & Sleepers is an electronic duo from Boston. American Royalty is a psych-pop trio from Brooklyn. Guitarist Gianni Paci is a recent graduate of New York University and is influenced by Buddy Holly and The Beatles. Performer Magazine recently featured him on its cover. $5 at the door; parking for those without a campus parking sticker is $1 -- see oswego.edu/administration/parking. 312-4581.
Location: Lounge, Hewitt Union
Friday, April 25, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Theatre performance: "Young Frankenstein"
$15 ($7 for SUNY Oswego students), including parking in front of Culkin Hall and in lot E-18 east of Culkin. 312-2141. www.oswego.edu/arts
Location: Waterman Theatre, Tyler Hall
Friday, April 25, 7:30 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Baseball vs. Plattsburgh
Location: Oswego, NY- Laker Baseball Field
Friday, April 25, 3 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Men's Golf Spring Tournament
Location: Oswego, NY - Oswego Country Club
Saturday, April 26, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
GOLD Third Thursdays
Visit http://www.facebook.com/events/453070221388940 for the latest locations or suggest your own!
Location: Various Cities
Thursday, May 15, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Reunion Weekend 2014
More information: alumni.oswego.edu/reunion
Location: SUNY Oswego, New York 104, Oswego, NY, United States
Thursday, June 5, noon - noon
Teaching a Writing Across the Curriculum course may be less complicated than you think. Generally speaking, in a nutshell:
(1) Students should write frequently.
(2) They should write thoughtfully, in response to meaningful assignments.
(3) You should read your students' work closely, as a mentor, offering regular, formative feedback and evaluating their written work as a significant part of their final grade.
Of course, there are other things you can do if you're so inclined, too – encouraging a healthy writing and revision process, introducing examples of what you take to be good writing, perhaps even sharing some work of your own with your class. But what really counts most is that students write something that matters at least two or three times during the semester and that you read it closely and have some thoughtful exchange with them about it, encouraging them to revise wherever appropriate.
If you're teaching one of your department's writing-intensive seminars, offered at introductory and advanced levels, these basic expectations expand slightly. Because the seminars are imagined both introductions to and reflections on writing in the major, they should also give some explicit attention to the discipline's expectations about texts. That is, what are the specific genres, habits of mind, and objectives that characterize writing in your field? Still, the three goals above -- establishing a course in which students write frequently, thoughtfully, and in the context of meaningfully formative response from reader-mentors -- remain the fundamental touchstones of good practice in Writing Across the Curriculum. (NOTE: Not all departments' Writing Plans currently distingush courses as seminars in this way, as the WAC Guidelines recommend. Consult your plan here if you are unsure about whether your course is listed as a seminar.)
What You Don't Need to Do
No matter what WAC course you're teaching, though, you don’t need to feel responsible for eradicating your students’ mechanical errors, curing their writer’s block, or giving them a lecture on ethos or active verbs. Of course, if you’re inclined to do it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t work on grammar and other line-level issues with students, counsel them on the writing process, or make them aware of rhetorical issues. That’s wonderful. But teaching a WAC course doesn’t mean you’re expected to be a teacher of writing in a generic sense: it means you use writing to teach the material in your field and that you call students’ attention to the particular forms of writing important to practice in that field.