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The Weekly Blast: October 15, 2010

Adam Cogbill brings us this Exercise of the Week. Although “Mad Libs” doesn’t necessarily address the all-too-common overzealous thesaurus usage we see; it is intended to encourage awareness about how difficult a process word selection can be. To see how to do “Mad Libs” with your students click on:

What essays are your students interacting with this semester? Thinking about how authority plays out in the classroom? Join the conversation on the Resource Center’s teaching blog:

The final exam schedule is out. Please check your SPIRE account for the date, time, and location. The information is also posted on the wall above the copy machine in Bartlett 305.

CHANGES IN LIBRARY HOME PAGE AND OTHER UNIT III MATTERS: As we get closer to Unit III, Adding to a Conversation, College Writing teachers will want to think about changes and new resources for that unit. First, the UMass Libraries’ home page has changed. The page now uses a default search engine, WorldCat, that is a powerful one-stop research tool including all of the Five College book catalog but also materials from many other libraries and databases, including full-text articles indexed by Academic Search Premier. You will want to familiarize yourself with this new search engine so you can help your students use it effectively. Second, in addition to your usual library training session with your students, our new partnership with OIT and the new smaller class size in CW make it possible for all of us to hold at least one follow-up session in a campus computer lab. This can dramatically improve the one-to-one, peer, and small group help we provide our students as they learn about research. See . Third, think about teaching your students to use RefWorks, a popular and university-supported tool for storing and formatting bibliographic references. Information about RefWorks and other matters related to Unit III and the library can be found at the Library Subject Guide for College Writing: Finally, 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: .

The exciting discussions and camaraderie continue! New Day, New Time!
Celebrate your upcoming weekend and discuss the relevance diversity plays in our teaching, our writing, and living. Drop in any week for discussion, collaboration and fun with fellow Writing Program Teaching Associates. Every other Thursday in the downstairs bar of the Northampton Brewery.

Thursday October 21, 6:30PM at The Northampton Brewery.
Thursday November 4, 6:30PM at The Northampton Brewery.

Thursdays. Beer. Diversity. 6:30. Northampton.

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

Thursday, October 21, 2010 is the last day students may withdraw from a course and receive a ‘W’ on his/her transcript. Make sure you inform the students of this date. If you have students in your course who are in danger of receiving a D or F, please fill out a mid-term grade report. Please be as specific on the form as possible. Make two copies of the form giving the original to the student, a copy to Becky for the Writing Program files, and keep one for yourself. If you need to mail the form to a student Becky can help you locate an address. If you have any questions please see your course director, resource center staff mentor, or any member of Writing Program staff. You can pick up the forms in the office or download them from the Writing Program website at: The report is due Friday, October 15 if not sooner.

Check your mailboxes for a statement on policies and procedures for submitting essays to the 2011-2012 Student Writing Anthology. There have been some changes, so please take careful note of this essential information. We will also be attaching a sample Publisher’s Release Form just in case you have any Unit I essays to submit. Please get your Unit I nominations to the committee as soon as possible. There is a file box in 305 Bartlett on the table in front of my office.

Thank you.
Pat Zukowski

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