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concision handout

Handout: Concision for Creative Writers

If you're looking for a way to encourage your creative writing students to be more concise, try this simple concision handout.       Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash    
how to avoid thing words

Handout: Avoiding ‘Thing’ Words

I'll admit right off the bat that my major pet peeve is 'thing' words. Something. Nothing. Anything. Everything. And just plain old thing. In...
writing anxiety

Activity: Exploring the Output of Writers

A great piece of advice for any writer is to read as much as possible. If one wants to write novels, reading great novels...

Handout: Peer Review Forms

These handouts were developed to help students provide productive and specific feedback during peer review. They support students in giving constructive criticism based on specific generic expectations, such as the strength of thesis statements, organization, and use of sources. 
usable syllabi under construction

Creating Usable Syllabi

We're all familiar with the frustrations that come from students not reading the syllabus. But I've come to realize the problem isn't one of whether or not the syllabus is read, but one of if and how it's used.
argumentative essay outline

Handout: Outlining Argumentative Essays

A useful handout that explains how to outline an essay. It draws on similar examples from my handout on Common Thesis Complaints.         Feature image by Andrew...
office hours

Advice: Student Centered Office Hours

Those of us who teach Creative Writing usually have the luxury that our students actively choose to be in the class. When they come...
Group project assignment

Advice: Raising the Stakes: Group Projects as Competitive Contests

Group projects regularly cause trepidation but structuring them as competitive contests leads students away from generic and predictable outcomes.
Quote integration

Lesson Plan: The Perks of the Quote Integration

The ability to properly quote integrate shows readers that you fully understand the quote and you want them to understand and appreciate it as well.

Activity: Ransom Notes

If you're looking for a different type of in-class activity to get students thinking about word choice, you'll find it with this fun but challenging task.

Activity: Refurbishing

I recently read a quotation by Janet Finch, who reminds writers, “You’re a writer and you have to invent it from scratch, all by...
Revision activities

Five Revision Activities

Five revision activities you can use either inside or outside the classroom to show the importance and effects of revision. 
career profile assignment

Assignment Sequence: The World as Seen, Heard, Experienced, Written

An assignment sequence where students explore the world of the arts, beginning with photography and increasing in writing involvement and critical scrutiny through the worlds of music and film before finally concluding in a work of literature. Through these various lenses, students examine both the status of these arts, what goes into evaluating them, and their relation to their campus, its history, and the world at large.
Feedback Creative Writing

Creative Writing Feedback: On Finding Praise

There’s a lot of talk in teaching circles about feedback—how to give an appropriate amount that doesn’t overwhelm the student (or the teacher’s workload) and balances praise and constructive criticism. Finding praise is, of course, characterized by its very verb as the part where you have to strain yourself, what you include to soften the blow your critique.
writing process

Lego: The Building Blocks of Writing

One of my favorite in-class activities is simple, easy to set up, and, most importantly, it involves Lego. I often use this in composition...

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activity creative writing workshop

Activity: Class Starters for the Fiction Workshop

For fiction writers, provocation is part of the job description. The same should go for our teaching of fiction, especially with students who are...

Assignment: The Hip-Hop Nation

An argumentative essay that requires students to clearly articulate their position on whether rap and hip-hop have a negative or positive effect on its listeners, if there should be control over the content of songs, and to explore the reasons why people are affected by these genres so strongly.

Handout: Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is more than just copying and pasting the words of others and this can sometimes be difficult to explain to students. The handout below illustrates the different types of plagiarism and provides examples that can be used for an in-class activity and discussion.