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The Weekly Blast: February 27, 2009

As a way to enable students to think beyond their gut reactions after reading an essay from The Text-Wrestling Book, Miranda Dennis has developed a “Low-Stakes Debating” activity for the classroom. To see how this debate is done, check it out here.

All TO’s Welcome!

Thursday, March 5 at 8:00, the Diversity Tap will meet at

Wiggins Bar in Northampton

Join members of the Diversity Committee to discuss issues related to writing and the classroom every Thursday evening! Bring questions, concerns, and classroom situations and enjoy a lively discussion!

College Writing Student’s “This I Believe Essay” accepted by NPR:
Hi All! I just wanted to spread some good news about one of my students, Daniel Wu, getting "published" on NPR's "This I Believe" website for a piece he wrote and presented in my 112 class. Here's a link to his "This I Believe" essay: He's really excited about it. If you want more info on how I set up my Unit 4 "This I Believe" section, let me know. It's a great opportunity for students to be part of a national conversation. Amber Engelson (

Please be sure to submit essays for the Best Text Contest. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards for essays written in Basic Writing and College Writing. We will also be awarding a prize for the Best non-traditional essay form. Check out the Writing Program website for more details or see Peggy or Heidi.
All College Writing instructors need to introduce their students to the research resources, print and electronic, available through UMass Libraries. This is a key part of Unit III: Adding to a Conversation. We recommend that you do this soon after students return from spring recess. For MWF sections, we’re suggesting sometime around Friday, March 27; for MW sections, Wednesday, March 25; for TuTh sections, Thursday, March 26. You can reserve a computer lab in Du Bois Library by going to the librarians’ blog for College Writing: and clicking on “Reserving a Library Instruction Classroom.” Do this as soon as possible so you’ll be sure to get a computer lab when you want it.

Thanks to all who've spread the word about the Writing Center. If you could please encourage your students to make appointments online ( as the semester picks up pace--we'd really appreciate it. You might also like to know that there are Writing Center bookmarks in the Writing Program office; please share these with your students. – Haivan

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