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The Weekly Blast: September 24, 2010

By having students remove “is” and “was” from their papers, “Using Active Verbs” asks students to consider the wide range of possibilities existent in the construction of their sentences. To see this exercise by Carlin Mackie and others in the database, click on:

Our second Tuesday Workshop will be September 28 from 11:15-12:30 in Dickinson 112. David Fleming and Kate Marantz will be discussing the three paths of Unit 3: “Adding to the Conversation.” Please note that this workshop is mandatory for all new TOs. Veteran teachers are welcome to attend. See you there!

Check out the Resource Center’s teaching blog. This is a great place to see what your colleagues are thinking about teaching, writing and the teaching of writing. This is a closed blog—meaning only Writing Program teachers have access to it. To log in, just use your OIT account. (If you cannot access the blog, please contact Peggy ( We invite you to check it out, write a post, include a link to something you think your fellow teachers would be interested in, etc. The link below will take you to the OIT Blog page. Just enter your OIT email account and password.

Dream Sheets for the Spring 2011 teaching requests will be distributed to your Writing Program mailboxes by Tuesday, 9/28. Please read all directions carefully. Submit completed forms to the Writing Program, Bartlett 305. Deadline to submit is Friday, 10/8.

Our new partnership with OIT is a success thanks to a number of our instructors incorporating lab time into their curriculum. We hope more of you will consider its valuable use later this semester or spring 2011.

For those who have already reserved space, and for those who would like to, please log on to the OIT reservations web site at
To see reservations for any given classroom just simply mouse over the hours.

To reserve a computer classroom please provide the information listed below:

Name of instructor
Instructor’s contact information (email address)
Course number and title (example: ENGLWRIT 112)
Assigned computer classroom location (example: 1667 Du Bois)
Assigned class time (example: 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.)
Date(s) requested
Some basic info about classrooms:
Instructors and students will need their OIT NetIDs and UMAccess passwords to log into the machines. For more information about NetIDs and passwords:

Other useful information --
1. There will be a student consultant to answer any questions or troubleshoot any problems that may come up (this means basic functions, they aren't experts on all the software!) The consultant will also set up the projector for you.
2. Covered drinks are OK, but food is not allowed in the classrooms.
3. There is a pay-for-print system at $.05/page. Students receive $5.00 worth of free prints each semester on their UCard. Faculty members do not receive free prints -- if you don't have your UCard set up as a debit card you can purchase a guest card on the main floor of the library.
4. If your reservation plans change and you need to cancel a reservation, please contact Marta Pluta at or OIT Computer Classrooms Staffroom at 413.545.1611.

Any questions, please contact Heidi at

All College Writing instructors need to introduce their students to the research resources, both print and electronic, of UMass Libraries. This is a key part of Unit III: Adding to a Conversation. We recommend that you do this early in the unit (in the standard calendars, we recommend a session in a computer lab sometime around October 27-29). You can reserve a 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 lab when you want it. Also, remember to talk to your students about plagiarism! See And don’t forget about the new “paths” through Unit III that we developed last year: .

EXPERIMENTAL WRITING WORKSHOPS – Proposals due Friday, October 1:
The Writing Program is committed to offering several experimental writing workshops this upcoming spring semester. This is the opportunity for you to design a writing course that you have always wanted to give or take, the sort of course that breaks the usual bounds of form, content, or intended audience. The courses are 200 level workshops with the emphasis on experimental. Two-person teaching teams are encouraged, but teaching alone is fine as well. Everyone selected receives an additional stipend and attends a one credit practicum in the spring. For more information about the experimental workshops and to submit a proposal please refer to our website at:

The Writing Program has available a small amount of money for instructors to do a class project that will enhance the 112 curriculum. Instructors can request up to $200 for a special project. For more information about these projects and how to apply see our website at:

The office no longer has a workable C/D player. You can borrow a player from the AIMS Equipment Department with a two days notice, and they will deliver it to your classroom. Their phone number is 545-5765.

Mark your calendars for the 2011 Writing Program Teaching Symposium, to be held 11:30 – 2:30 PM on January 14, 2011. This mini-conference includes the opening meeting, a selection of 45 minute teaching presentations/demonstrations, and is a great way to gear up for the Spring semester. If you have ideas for topics you would like covered or if you would like to present at the symposium, please email Deirdre Vinyard

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