Alphabetical list of Handouts & Guides

Words of Wisdom

The best and most telling speech is not the actual impromptu one, but the counterfeit of it ... that speech is most worth listening to which has been carefully prepared in private and tried on a plaster cast, or an empty chair, or any other appreciative object that will keep quiet, until the speaker has got his matter and his delivery limbered up so that they will seem impromptu to an audience.

— Mark Twain

Since the early 1970's writing instruction has made a steady turn from emphasizing the finished product to teaching the writing process. While this method does not necessarily slight the importance of a polished document as the end result of teaching, it does recognize that the writing process can be described and that we can intervene in the methods students bring to their writing to improve it. The same process philosophy has also been extended to teaching public speaking.

Most students benefit from instruction that helps them (1) understand and consider their own composing process; and (2) spend more time on the invention and revision stages of composition. Further, encouraging students work in stages and get help as they compose discourages plagiarism.

What exactly constitutes instruction in writing and speaking for W and C courses? Read How Do I Teach This Stuff?, republished from Writing Matters, for one point of view. If you are interested in graduate writing instruction, see Graduate-Level Writing.

With an emphasis on the composing process, this section covers methods of instruction for writing and speaking, including:

It also covers some how-to-teach topics, specifically:


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