Alphabetical list of Handouts & Guides

Words of Wisdom

My God, this novel makes me break out in a cold sweat! Do you know how much I've written in five months, since the end of August? Sixty-five pages! Each paragraph is good in itself and there are some pages that are perfect. I feel certain. But just because of this, it isn't getting on. It's a series of well-turned, ordered paragraphs which do not flow on from each other. I shall have to unscrew them, loosen the joints, as one does with the masts of a ship when one wants the sail to take more wind...

— Gustave Flaubert

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: