Twenty Writing Assignments in Context

An Instructor’s Resource for the Composition Classroom


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About the Book

Twenty original, classroom-tested assignments: This innovative collection of college writing assignments explores the practical applications of each lesson. Drawing upon current best practices, each chapter includes a discussion of the rationale behind the assignment, along with supplemental elements such as guidelines for evaluation, prewriting exercises and tips for avoiding common pitfalls. The assignments are designed for a range of courses, from first-year composition to upper-division writing in various disciplines.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Melissa Bender is a lecturer in the University Writing Program and the assistant director of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at the University of California, Davis. Her interests include professional writing, visual rhetoric, composition and international education.

A former president of the Margaret Atwood Society, Karma Waltonen is a senior lecturer in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis, where she won the Academic Federation Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Melissa Bender and Karma Waltonen

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6509-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2729-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Rhetoric of Everyday Objects: An Assignment Sequence (Melissa Bender) 7
Writing and Designing Informational Booklets for International Exchange Students (M. Ann Brady) 20
Framing the Personal Narrative: Composition and Documentary Film (Jodie Childers) 34
Blogging Advanced Composition (Elisa ­Cogbill-Seiders, Ed Nagelhout and Denise Tillery) 45
Proposal Writing in Technical Communications (Barbara J. D’Angelo) 60
Past Meets Present: Exploring the University Archives to Compose and Connect (Christine Denecker) 75
Writing the Brain: A Multimodal Assignment Sequence (Jason W. Ellis) 92
Making Financial Contracts ­User-Friendly: Conducting Research, Redesigning Documents and Proposing Changes in the Workplace (Sara K. Gunning) 106
Geobiographies: A ­Place-Based Assignment Sequence (Jim Henry) 118
The Discipline Resource Guide Website (Dalyn Luedtke) 131
Global Urban Centers: A Rhetorical Analysis of Street Art (Gerald Maki) 143
The Academic Discourse Project (Gracemarie Mike) 153
Political Cartoons and Multimodal Composition: The Visual Argument Assignment (Erin Dee Moore) 164
Researching and Writing a History of ­Composition-Rhetoric (Lori Ostergaard) 179
Critical Analysis of a Wikipedia Entry (Gwendolynne Reid) 190
“In the Year”: Using Website Design for ePortfolios (Katherine Robbins) 204
Workplace Document Analysis and Evaluation (Melissa Vosen Callens) 216
The Partner Project: Advanced Argument (Karma Waltonen) 226
Captain Discourse and Other Heroes: Learning about Writing Research through Comic Books (Courtney L. Werner and Nicole I. Caswell) 244
Critical Analysis of Student Ethnography (Abby Wilkerson) 257
About the Contributors 271
Index 275

Book Reviews & Awards

“innovative and diverse collection…recommended”—Midwest Book Review.