Posted in CBW 2013, CBW Innovations Award, CCCC 2013, What's New in Basic Writing

2013 Innovations Award

CBW was pleased to award the 2013 Award for Innovations in Basic Writing to the University of Arizona for its Adapted Studio Model. You’ll be able to hear more about this exciting work at next year’s 2014 CBW pre-conference workshop.


Aimee Mapes of the University of Arizona, pictured here with CBW Executive Board Member, and Innovations Committee Chair, Greg Glau

Posted in CCCC 2013, Politics of Remediation, Race, Scholarship of Basic Writing, What's New in Basic Writing

On “Honoring Vernacular Eloquence: Pathways to Intellectual and Academic Discourse”

This session featured Peter Elbow, “Multiple Versions of Written English: In Our Past—and Also in Our Future” and Sheridan Blau, “Vernacular Eloquence as the Foundation for a Vital Academic Discourse.”

Where are we in terms of the use of “multiple versions of written English” and “vernacular eloquence” in Basic Composition? I found this session to be delightfully controversial. Elbow’s advocacy for the vernacular is about making the sounds that the mouth likes to make and the ear likes to hear. It sounds poetic, like a song. Elbow argues that the best critics use the language that is pleasing. It is not about using a different, awkward academic language.

The shared theme from the talks is that mimicry does not work, and students should be allowed to use their own voices. Instead student voices evolve as their learning emerges in communities.

Blau offered workshop that teachers could reproduce in their classrooms–a rare practical application of a theory. The workshop went like this: students write a “commentary” in response to a text. In this case, Blau used the poem “Nineteen” by George Bogin for the workshop. With ongoing tensions between Composition and Literature, this seemed like a somewhat controversial choice. Nevertheless, in his workshop, he indicated that students write weekly commentaries throughout the semester. They post their work online. They also have to reply to at least one peer each week.

After explaining the assignment, the teacher asks the students, “Are there any questions?” As the questions emerge, the teacher indicates that s/he does not know what the final product will look like. Blau encouraged teachers to respond with “We’ll see.” Do we need a thesis statement? “We’ll see.” How long does it need to be? “We’ll see.” The idea being that students will discover the genre of the commentary as it evolves in the academic community.

After students write their commentary, in small groups of three, they decide together what a commentary might look like–what it’s features might be. It is not a list of what the commentary must look like or what the commentary must *not* do, but rather a list of possible characteristics. In this way, students discover the genre as they create it. They practice naming the features of this particular genre.

In the end, Blau encourages us to notice important points about sharing the commentaries and working together to determine the features of the assignment. Blau notes that each possibility (reading each other’s commentaries) actually opens up new insights for the listeners, insights they would not have had if they had only read their own commentary.  In this way, a thesis emerges in a community and as part of an ongoing conversation about a text. The thesis is something that lives when it emerges from discussion and argument from the class.  Blau states, “We are constructing the genre of the commentary on the basis of what we do and who we are.”

As part of the classroom practice, Blau selects commentaries to share in order to generate class discussions and raise issues. Blau reads commentaries in class to acknowledge real contributions to knowledge making. Students learn from each other and the teachers. Questions are important.  The work is published online.

This practice acknowledges the value of multiple perspectives. Students acquire a more critical literacy. Students see themselves as part of an academic conversation. They start to write in their home language. The language in which they speak and think and serve them well in their role as speakers and thinkers in this context. Students learn that they can expand the resources of their home language without having to abandon it, and they take on new terms and phrases that emerge in the learning community. Students learn that academic discourse is about the construction of knowledge and ideas. Students extend and expand their “language competence.” This practice offers a way of interrogating text and illuminating it. Finally, Blau says that the practice allows us to “witness students as intellectuals.” ~ Sheri Rysdam, UVU

Posted in CBW 2013, CCCC 2013, Publishing, What's New in Basic Writing

Publishing & Grant Writing Workshop

This afternoon’s session focused on publishing & grant writing with a particular emphasis on newer scholars preparing to enter the field.

     Jen Fishman and Joan Mullin presented about how basic writing scholars can get involved with REx: the Research Exchange Index.

     Susan Naomi Bernstein gave a beautiful talk about the process of writing Teaching Developmental Writing 4th Edition. She led the audience through the experience of losing her friend and how that informed her decisions in crafting the text. She ended with a final tribute to him, “Identify what you love and find co-conspirators.” These were his words & the group was compelled to take this on as a mantra in writing and publishing. 

Four or So Publishing Clues—Or, Dr. Peacock in the Study with the Typewriter—Or, Be Machiavellian, Cocky, Not Too Cocky, and Weird by Hannah Ashley (full talk published below)

That title was just to put you and me in the right mood:  play.  Getting published is very serious, but it does not have to be solemn.  It’s a game—we are rhetoricians; we are not immune to the effects and openings of rhetoric.  Onward.

First of all—be Machiavellian.  What I mean is, it’s not amoral to be opportunistic and crafty.  As long as you are not deceitful.  I don’t mean make up your data because it just takes too long to actually gather it.  I mean: we can do good by doing well (too).  If there is an opening to give an invited talk, even locally, and then to convert that talk into a paper, and then to convert that paper into a grant application, and to turn that grant into an alternative work assignment so you have more time to write—do it.  Ask for GA’s, see if there are English Department interns you can supervise to their benefit and yours.  If I could have had my pre-schoolers coding data for me, I would have.

Being Machiavellian also, paradoxicall,y means collaborate.  Collaborate with editors.  (You can contact editors with synopses of article ideas, inquires about what your revise-and-resubmit feedback means, or at conferences like this one).   By the way, revise and resubmit, in case no one has mentioned this?  That’s really, really good.  No editor asks for a resubmit if they are not serious about the article; that’s a close-to-yes, not a probably-no.  Collaborate with students (some journals and institutions value that highly, and it’s good for your workload, and it’s good for them too—as long as we don’t steal their work). I can honestly say I can attribute some of my career success to collaborating closely with students. Collaborate with colleagues (especially more well-known ones!).  In sum, be a totally shameless self-promoter and Oprah-Winfrey-like self-care buccaneer.

Second, follow the orthodox advice.  Here I will credit many prior panels, plus a fantastically opportune discussion on the WPA-list in February which was digested and sent back out, and which I craftily saved for this talk.  I would summarize the standard advice asBe cocky, but not too cocky.  Let me elaborate, with some of the standard orthodoxies and a few less standard ones.

Being cocky means conveying your article’s importance.  The leading journals in the field want leading contributions, articles that will change the way we do business (or at least the way we talk about doing business).  What is the tiny corner of the field that your piece is going to redefine, re-evaluate, revolutionize…or just plain fix?  Theory, practice, even methods—it all counts—your piece has to do something new, challenge someone or something.

Being cocky can also mean starting high.  Don’t be afraid to submit to leading journals.  At worst, you will get a good slapdown, and at best a great line on your CV, and often, a rejection with significant feedback for further revision.  I have been soundly slapped down by some of the very best journals.  Thank you.

Finally, being cocky means: Don’t write like a graduate student (anymore) (or still).  Journals do not need a demonstration that you are Being Good, and have read (seemingly) everything in the field, and understand it.  Don’t summarize interminably.  Just enough literature that readers believe you have read everything in the field—we have to play the part. 

So that’s the cocky part.

But don’t be too cocky. Do actually read a whole lot prior to submitting, drafting, or even thinking about an article beyond your first cup of sweet-and-light coffee.  Every editor’s roundtable says it, so I feel obliged to repeat it here: New to you is not new to the field. Do read several back issues of that particular journal.  Do pay attention to editorial guidelines.  Do make your thesis and argument clear, if only in an abstract, if you prefer to be obtuse.  If you can’t write your abstract concisely, you probably have a problem.  Don’t assume your reader will ignore your typos or formatting deviations.  In sum, don’t submit first (or second, or even third) drafts.

Not being too cocky also means paying your dues.  Lower profile publications are good too.  Lower stakes projects like book reviews help your CV and help you keep up with the field—that’s being opportunistic again.  You can often volunteer to do a book review and there you have it: a nearly guaranteed publication.  Also, volunteer to serve as a reviewer on some journals. Serving as a reviewer gave me a whole different sense of process and product.  Once you start reading as a reviewer, it is a lot easier to write for one.

Lastly for the orthodox advice, while you are busy being cocky but not too cocky, be careful not to insult people.  That duck could be somebody’s mother.  That research you diss could be your potential reviewers’, or your reviewers’ bff, or worse, your reviewers’ kid.  So foment nice revolution.  I’m actually still learning this one.

As for the unorthodox advice, it sums up as:  Be weird.  Don’t be afraid to bring in unusual stylistic moves, unusual connections.  Go outside the usual dozen citations that everyone uses, or the expected disciplinary moves.  Quote a sociologist, or better yet, a physicist.  Surprise sometimes works; good weird titles and unusual (but still useful) subheadings.  

Personally, I have had success with showing myself, by which I mean, being a subject in my writing, being clear where I sit, breaking the now-somewhat-more-often-broken rules of removed objectivity.  But much of my work has called for that kind of writing from our students, so it was an affected and self-conscious subjectivity I was enacting.  Perhaps better advice is to match medium with message: enact your own brand of studied weirdness. Dr. Peacock in the Study with the Typewriter.

Posted in CCCC 2013, Politics of Remediation, Race, Scholarship of Basic Writing, What's New in Basic Writing

Scott Lyons: “American Indian Writers and the Question of “Assimilation”

Scott Lyons began by confessing that he does not consider himself an expert in Basic Writing. Interestingly, his work seemed absolutely crucial to the conversations we’ve been having all day on teaching basic writing students.

He writes about his experience teaching at a tribal college in Minnesota. He was the first PhD to be hired at the college to teach writing. There were four full-time instructors. There were three Ojibwe teachers and one white teacher. Because of his degree (and not his experience, he assures us), Lyons quickly became the head of the department. One day, the white teacher, one of the best at the school, came to him in tears. She said that she felt like a bad person. She wanted students “to be themselves.” She wanted them to be “the sovereign people that they are.” The teacher said she “did not want to be a part of their assimilation.”

Lyons acknowledges this teacher’s concerns and does so by showing some of the black and white images of assimilation that many of us are familiar with. Lyons included a “before and after” picture of American Indians in schools of assimilation. The “after” photo has been noticeably lightened. The clear message is that assimilated students actually have lighter skin.

The whole story is not just about assimilation though. There were prominent arguments for annihilation as well. Lyons shared newspaper excerpts from notable writers, like author L. Frank Baum (writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), who wrote that it was “better that they die.” Lyons demonstrates that these writers seemed to simultaneously revere the American Indian culture, while they depicted them as vanishing tragically *but necessarily.*

Lyons makes the distinction between cultural assimilation and economic assimilation. Cultural assimilation usually includes religious assimilation to Christianity. However, economic assimilation is a crucial part of the story too. When it comes to economic assimilation, American Indians have been historically exiled. Lyons argues that progressive pedagogy understands economic assimilation and the role education plays in that process.

Lyons ends this talk by returning to the image of the teacher crying in his office, the teacher who does not want to be complacent in the assimilation of her students. Lyons ends by making the following points. If you want to help Indians engage “settler culture,” you need to not see yourself as a bad person. “Rez English” is not useful because the market that we share does not use that language. Lyons states that teachers should point out that English is an American Indian language now. Finally, he encouraged teachers to emphasize the importance of studying the writing of American Indians.

from the panel “Race, Language, and Access: Possible Futures of Basic Writing”

Moderators: Steve Lamos & Wendy Olson

Featuring: Scott Lyons, Beatrice Mendez-Newman, Min-Zhan Lu, & Shirley Faulker-Springfield

~ Sheri Rysdam, UVU

Posted in CCCC 2013, Politics of Remediation, Scholarship of Basic Writing, Uncategorized, What's New in Basic Writing

At “Basic Writing and Race: A Symposium”

Here are some of my thoughts on Victor Villanueva’s talk, “Toward a Political Economy of Basic Writing Programs.”

After earning my PhD at WSU with Victor Villanueva as my mentor, I still don’t tire of hearing this work. It is his way of engaging an audience that probably resulted in his talk ending with a standing ovation. He drew chills, goose bumps, and, no doubt, renewed, re-inspired, and motivated his audience to think about their programs and their teaching in new and innovative ways.

Basic Writing programs are almost always in crisis. Sound familiar? It seems like every few years, a basic writing program has to argue for its existence. That is because, Villanueva states, crisis is a necessity of capitalism. Remedial writing programs are also a product of capitalism.

Basic Writing exists because *institutions* too often fail to educate women, people of color, and the poor. Too often, Basic Writing students are viewed as the ones with the problem. Villanueva encourages us to remember that basic writing students are not the problem. The problem is a function of capitalism, which requires an exploitable class of people. Race, class, and gender have been the most exploitable population, and it is not mistake that Basic Writing programs are largely populated with these people.

Villanueva reminds us that BW is not in need of remedies or in need of development. There is no illness. There is no cognitive dysfunction. We must stop thinking about our students in terms of deficit and needing to be “prepared” for classes beyond basic writing.

Instead, writing needs to happen across the curriculum. Teachers and administrators of basic writing need to be in conversation with other disciplines to allow these writers to exist within the larger university—not exiled to their remedial classes. Part of this work means giving these students college credit for the work that they do so that the exploitation of paying for credits that do not count toward a degree does not continue. This is an especially crucial aspect of supporting our poor and working-class students.

According to Villanueva, if Basic Writing is going to move outside of the deficit model, where the teacher/missionary/savior “converts the natives,” basic writing must “enter in to a dialogue across the disciplines” so that students see their community, see themselves as a crucial part of the university, and understand how to gain access.

Of course, Villanueva’s talk was far more nuanced in addressing issues of assimilation, enculturation, and identity. These are some of the quick points and observations that stand out to me.

I cannot think of a more energizing way to kick start CCCC 2013! Stay tuned! ~ Sheri Rysdam, UVU

Posted in CBW 2013, CCCC 2013, Professional Developmwnt, What's New in Basic Writing, Who is Basic Writing?

Live Streaming from CCCC 2013 and More!

Just a reminder that we will be streaming 2 CCCC sessions live! (Technology Gods willing!!!):

Victor Villanueva’s keynote at CBW 2013, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 @ 9:15 am Pacific Time


“There’s Nothing Basic About Basic Writing” session: Thursday, 14 March 2013 @ 10:30 am Pacific Time

For BOTH sessions (technology gods willing!) we will post the URL to the YouTube/Google streaming link.

For BOTH sessions you will be able to leave comments on the YouTube page and/or on the CBW Facebook Page. We will be monitoring both and will bring your questions into the q & a sessions. We’ve never tried this before, so we ask for your patience. We’ll keep you updated before and during the sessions.

Look on the CBW Facebook Page, on the CBW-Listserv and here, on the CBW Blog, for the link the day of the session.

Also, remember that Sheri Rysdam, Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, Anthony Warnke and J. Elizabeth Clark will be live blogging many of the Basic Writing sessions at CCCC! Keep up at throughout the week for posts, pictures, and more!

Posted in CCCC 2013, Scholarship of Basic Writing, What's New in Basic Writing, Who is Basic Writing?

Quick Guide to Basic Writing Sessions at CCCC 2013

CCCC 2013

The Council on Basic Writing presents its annual quick guide to Basic Writing sessions and workshops to help you connect with other Basic Writing faculty at the 2013 CCCC Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year’s CCCC 2013 convention is incredibly exciting with many, many Basic Writing offerings and its own Basic Writing strand (hooray!).

Our thanks to this year’s CCCC program chair, Howard Tinberg for his visible and vocal support of Basic Writing.

This list was compiled by J. Elizabeth Clark from submissions on our CBW-L listserv using information and descriptions provided by the presenters.

Thanks to all of you for crowd-sourcing this guide. Happy CCCC 2013! 

You can download a Microsoft Word version of the information in this post by clicking this link: CCCC 2013 BW Sessions.

Pre-Conference Workshops:

MW.03: Expanding the Conversation: Graduate Students, Contingent Faculty, and the Future of Basic Writing

W01: TYCA Presents: Developmental Education in the Two-Year College, a Place of Possibility

W06: Council on Basic Writing 2013: Basic Writing and Race: A Symposium

CCCC 2013 Regular Sessions:

A.17: There’s Nothing Basic about Basic Writing
Location: Riviera Hotel, Royale Pavilion 6, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

Join us for a face-to-face exploration of major issues facing Basic Writing faculty and students. This roundtable discussion is the culmination of month-long asynchronous dialogue highlighting issues in Basic Writing.

Chair: John McKinnis Buffalo State College
Co-Chair: Rochelle Rodrigo Old Dominion University


Debra Berry, College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas – Teacher Preparation
and Professional Development

J. Elizabeth Clark, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY – Teaching with

Elaine Jolayemi, Ivy Tech College – Who Are Basic Writers?

Leigh Jonaitis, Bergen Community College – Who Are Basic Writers?

Marisa Klages, LaGuardia Community College – Teacher Preparation &
Professional Development

Carla Maroudas, Mt. San Jacinto Community College – Student Placement
Amy Edwards Patterson, Moraine Park Technical College – Day-to-Day Life
in the Classroom

Ilene Rubenstein, College of the Desert – Academic Skills/Writing Centers

A.33: What Works: New Approaches in the Basic Writing Classroom
Location: Riviera, Skybox 205, 2nd floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

21st century pathways into the basic writing classroom that includes innovative methods to initiate as models for integrative learning.


Anita August – We Need to Talk about Student X: ‘Situating’ Visual Literacy in the Basic Writing Curriculum

Heather Camp, Minnesota State University, Mankato – Revisiting Writing-about-Writing in the Basic Writing Classroom

Susan Gebhardt, Burns Norwalk Community College – Using Invention Techniques with Community College Basic Composition Students

C.03: Public Access, Public Work: A Case Study for Multiple Basic Writing Pilots
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 105, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM

Chair: Stacy Day Penn State University-Abington


Stacy Day, Penn State University-Abington – The English Enhancement Pilot: A Narrative of Development, Implementation, and Assessment

Nicole McClure, Penn State University-Abington – Diverse Learners in Digital Spaces: Developing Supplemental Online Instruction for Basic Writers

Karen Weekes, Penn State University-Abington – One University, Demographically Dispersed

C.26: Making the Personal Public: Storytelling as Academic Discourse
in College Composition
Location: Riviera Hotel, Skybox 207, Second Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM

This panel examines narrative and storytelling from three perspectives: the basic writing classroom, the first-year student, and theoretical frameworks.


Amanda Athon – Storytelling and Basic Writing

D1: The Go-To Place for Basic Writing–Two-Year Colleges
Location: Riviera Hotel, Royale Pavilion 5, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Chair: Patrick Sullivan
Manchester Community College, CT


Jennifer Swartout, Heartland Community College, Normal IL
Three Rivers – Merging Scholarship on Community Colleges, Basic Writing and Developmental Education

Carolyn Calhoon-Dillahunt, Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, WA
Basic Writing in the Two-Year College—Mission Possible

Lynn Quitman Troyka, Queensborough Community College, CUNY, New York, NY
CCCC’s Stance toward BW and Two-Year Colleges

D.07: Approximating the University: Novices Practicing Knowledge in the Basic Writing Classroom

Location: Riviera Hotel, Royale Pavilion 7, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Chair: Karen Gocsik, Dartmouth College


Laura Braunstein, Dartmouth College – Entering the Conversation: How Sources Support and Impede Learning

Karen Gocsik ,Dartmouth College – Assembling Knowledge: How Novice Writers Practice Knowing

Cynthia Tobery, Dartmouth College – Writing Together: How Collaboration Enhances (and Limits) Knowledge Construction

D.28: Concurrent Literacies: Digital Literacy and Basic Writing
Location: Riviera Hotel, Grande Ballroom H, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Chair: Linda Howell, University of North Florida


Rachael Jordan, CSU Northridge – Engaging in Digital Public Space: Facebook & Basic Writing Students

Pegeen Reichert Powell, Columbia College Chicago – Low Tech Means to High Tech Ends: Teaching Digital Writing in the Basic Writing Classroom

Lauren Williams, CUNY Bronx Community College – Rethinking Basic Writing for a Digital Future: Replacing Assimilation with an Agenda of Empowerment

E.02: The Thin and Imaginary Border between Remedial and Degree-Credit Composition: Using Multiple Measures to Assess Student Readiness for College Reading and Writing

Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 103, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM

Chair: Holly Hassel, University of Wisconsin Marathon County


Joanne Giordano, University of Wisconsin Colleges – Ready or Not: The Inaccuracy of Standardized Tests in Placing Students in Remedial Courses

Holly Hassel, University of Wisconsin Marathon County – Using Multiple Measures to Assess Student Readiness

Cassandra Phillips, University of Wisconsin-Waukesha – Ready to Write: Multiple Measures and Learning the Writing Process

E.07: Basic Writer as Lightening Rod, Rosetta Stone, and Crucible: Access, Accountability, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Texas
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 104, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM

Chair: Susan Wolff Murphy, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi


Chimene Burnett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi – Institutional Identity and the Basic Writer

Michelle Garza, San Antonio College – (Re)Evaluating the Public: An Examination of Current Approaches to the Teaching of Writing and Argument

Chelsea Mikulencak, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi – Evaluation of a Basic Writing Program

Susan Wolff Murphy, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi – Evaluation of a Basic Writing Program

E.13: Social Connectedness and Student Support: Enhancing Success and Retention in the Transition to College-Ready
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 110, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM

Chair: Erin Lehman Ivy Tech Community College Columbus/Franklin


Hope Parisi, Kingsborough Community College/ CUNY – Competing and Converging Rhetorics: A Writing Tutorial for Taking a Student Support Services and Basic Writing Collaboration Public

Lynn Shelly, Indiana University of Pennsylvania – Marginality and Mattering: Basic Writing as Public Work

Zandree Stidham, University of New Mexico – Los Alamos – This Is Why We Leave. This Is Why We Stay: Forces Impacting the Trajectory of Transitioning Developmental Students

TSIG 04: The Council on Basic Writing
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 107, First Floor
Time: Thursday, 3/14 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

This meeting of the Council on Basic Writing (CBW) SIG will provide networking opportunities for basic writing faculty. The CBW mission statement and charter will also be discussed. The Innovations Award and the Travel Award recipients will also be honored.

F.01: Basic Writing, Rhetorical Education, and Civic Engagement
Location: Riviera Hotel, Skybox 201, Second Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Chair: Emily Walters University of Dayton


Jonathan Bush, Western Michigan University – Connecting to Community: Place-Based Pedagogy and the Developmental Writing Classroom

Bridget Ann Fahey, St. Ambrose University – The Role of Rhetoric in Basic Writing

Derek Handley, Community College of Allegheny County – Basic Writing and Conversations within the Community

F.25: Occupying the Language of Remediation: From CSUSB to Deborah Brandt to The Hunger Games
Location: Riviera Hotel, Grande Ballroom H, First Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Chair: Esther Gutierrez, California State University, San Bernardino


Francesca Astiazaran, California State University, San Bernardino
Sonia Castaneda, California State University, San Bernardino
Robert Diaz, California State University, San Bernardino
Brisa Galindo, California State University, San Bernardino
Gina Hanson, California State University, San Bernardino
Carol Haviland, California State University, San Bernardino
Sara Scotten, California State University, San Bernardino
Arturo Tejada, Jr., California State University, San Bernardino
DeShonna Wallace, California State University, San Bernardino

F.28: The Work of Scholarship: Hermeneutics in Public and Institutional Arguments on Basic Writing
Location: Riviera, Grand Ballroom B
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Public and institutional discourses on Basic Writing and basic writers often center on policy initiatives addressing economics, efficiency, standardization, and testing. A cursory glance at the scholarship of BW reveals vastly different foci within the field. This session will explore that scholarship by revealing four different avenues of interpretation within BW that researchers might use to rewrite the ways public and institutional policy affect the practice of the BW classroom.

Chair: Hannah Ashley, West Chester University


Karen Uehling, Boise State University, ID – Assessment, Placement, and Access: Framing Arguments from Local and National Histories

William Lalicker, West Chester University – Agency through Assessment: Developing a Basic Writing Program Strength Quotient

Michael Hill, Henry Ford Community College – The Work of Philosophical Argument in an Age of Mechanical Assessment

Abby Nance, Gardner-Webb University – A Tale of Two Classrooms: Practicing Trauma-Sensitive Placement

G.01: The Accelerated Learning Program: Deepening the Teaching of Writing to Basic Writers
Location: Riviera Hotel, Skybox 202, Second Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

The Accelerated Learning Program at the Community College of Baltimore County as taken the national spotlight as a model in acceleration for basic writers. In the ALP, students who have placed into a non-credit bearing basic writing course are mainstreamed into a credit-bearing English composition course with twelve other composition students. ALP students are therefore concurrently enrolled in two English courses that meet consecutively and are taught by the same faculty member. After attending the English composition course, ALP students proceed as a cohort to another classroom where the basic writing section is taught in a workshop format that supports the students’ work in English 101. The presentation will also describe the program at Georgia Gwinnett College, how ALP is tailored to fit their needs and results after 1 year.

Chair: Linda De La Ysla, Community College of Baltimore County


Linda De La Ysla, Community College of Baltimore County – ALP at CCBC

Christine W. Heilman, Georgia Gwinnett College – ALP at GGC

H.01: Perspectives on the History and Future of Basic Writing
Location: Riviera Hotel, Grande Ballroom A, First Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

This panel will offer perspectives on the history and possible futures of basic writing from scholars whose work has focused on this field’s social, material, and institutional histories. At this important juncture in our educational history—when access is threatened by economic conditions as well as misinformed perceptions of who and what basic writing is, and can be—this panel aims to provide a long view of the important moments in basic writing’s history, particularly those that portend for its future.

Chair: Kelly Ritter, University of North Carolina at Greensboro


Andrea Abernathy Lunsford, Stanford University – What’s in a Name: The Development of Basic Writing

George Otte, The City University of New York – Anything But Basic

Mary Soliday, San Francisco State University – Where We Were Is Where We Could Be

H.08: Digital Media and Basic Writing: Enhancing the Work of Composition
Location: Riviera Hotel, Top of the Riviera North, Monaco Tower, 24th Floor
Time: Friday, March 15 from 11:00 AM -12:15 PM

These speakers will argue that if we are to truly reinvigorate our commitment to assist all writers, we must teach our basic writers not only how to write, but also how to do school. One means by which we can accomplish this work is through a digital pedagogy which teaches students the tools they will employ in their classes and their lives outside the classroom. Digital media applications can help students learn to be more attentive to the rhetorical situations of composing, gain authority over their own writing, better understand the role of genre conventions, and transition from basic writing to first-year writing.

Chair: Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW)

Nancy Pine, Columbus State Community College – “But I’m Just Not Good With Technology”: From Resistance to Empowerment in Basic Writing Courses

Catherine Braun, The Ohio State University at Marion – Encouraging Inquiry/Challenging Formalism: Remix Assignments in a Basic Writing Class

Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) – “A Narrative Can Be Explored in More Ways than One”: Digital Media and the Transition From Basic to First-Year Writing

H.16: Toward Consensus: Basic Writing Pedagogy in Community Colleges, from Faculty Development to Active Learning
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 109, First Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Are there any core pedagogical principles upon which teachers of basic writing in community colleges can agree? Drawing from recent research in basic writing instruction and our work as teacher-scholars, we suggest that principles based upon general consensus in the field and the experiences of classroom teachers can ground the practice of basic writing.


Jamey Gallagher, Community College of Baltimore County – Faculty Development as Consensus Building

Peter Adams, Community College of Baltimore County – Thinking Our Way Toward a Pedagogy for Basic Writing

Michelle Zollars, Patrick Henry Community College – Transforming Colleges and Classrooms through Active Cooperative Learning

H.18: Politics, Basic Writing, and the CSU System
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 111, First Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Chair: KC Culver University of Miami


Mathew Gomes, Michigan State University – Foreign Investments: International Student Recruitment and the Modern Utility of Remediation in the CSU System

Brenda Helmbrecht, California Polytechnic State University – Still on the Front Lines: The Battle to Protect Students from a ‘Remedial’ Debate

Dan Melzer, CSU Sacramento – Ending Remediation: A Critical Discourse Analysis

I.07: Reacting, Rallying, Re-imagining: Full-Fledged University Students, Basic Writers No More
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 103, First Floor
Time: Friday ,3/15 from 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Chair: Don Kraemer, California State Polytechnic University

John Edlund, California State Polytechnic University, Ponoma – Reacting, Rallying, Re-imagining: On Stretching a First-Year Composition Program

Kristy Hodson, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Reacting, Rallying, Re-imagining: On Teaching a Stretched First-Year Composition Course

Leonard Vandegrift, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Reacting, Rallying, Re-imagining: On Supporting a Stretched First-Year Composition Program

J.04: Legitimizing Basic Writers: A Public Conversation
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 105, First Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Chair: Carolyn Ostrander Syracuse University

Speakers: Deborah Marrott, Utah Valley University – (More) Public Conversations about Writing and Literacy: Renewing the Call for Student-Present Research in Basic Writing

Dawn Terrick, Missouri Western State University – From Private to Public, from Marginal to Mainstream: Legitimizing the Work of the Basic Writing Student

J. 16: Trends in Accelerated Learning Programs
Location: Riviera Hotel, Royale Pavilion 4, First Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 2:00 PM-3:15 PM

Chair: Robert Miller, The Community College of Baltimore County

Robert Miller, The Community College of Baltimore County – The Creation of the Website and the Process of Gathering Information

Cheryl Scott, The Community College of Baltimore County – A General Overview of the Accelerated Learning Program at CCBC and Nationally

Monica Walker, The Community College of Baltimore County – An Analysis of the Results Gathered from the Collected Data

J. 34: Troubling Placement in Basic Writing
Location: Riviera Hotel, Royale Pavilion 5, First Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Chair: Sarah Kirk, University of Alaska Anchorage


Sarah Kirk, University of Alaska Anchorage – Tracking Student Success: Evaluating a Local Writing Sample as an Additional Placement Tool for Basic Writing Students

Ashley Ludewig, University of Louisville – (Re)Investigating Writing Apprehension as a Placement Tool: A Qualitative Exploration of Writing Apprehension with First-Year, At-Risk Writers

Sean Molloy, Hunter College, CUNY – ‘Caught in the Net of Numbers’: How Mina Shaughnessy Validated High-Stakes Writing Course Exit Tests

Keith Rhodes, Grand Valley State University – Own Your Own Placement: Self-Efficacy and the Public Face of Directed Self-Placement

J.37: Fostering Reading Identity for Students in the Developmental Writing Classroom
Location: Riviera Hotel, Skybox 202, Second Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Description for my presentation: This presentation will discuss the results of classroom experiments designed to help basic writing students become more proficient readers and writers of difficult texts through guided experiences with metacognition and revision as they engage in the reading process—reading their own writing and the writing of others.


Cheryl Hogue Smith, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY – Basic Writers as Basic Readers: Addressing Obstacles to Academic Literacy

Meghan Sweeney, University of Nevada, Reno – Fostering Reading Identity for Students in the Developmental Writing Classroom

Maureen McBride, University of Nevada, Reno – Fostering Reading Identity for Students in the Developmental Writing Classroom

K.28: Navigating the Academic Lingo: Language and Difference in Basic Writing
Location: Riviera Hotel, Skybox 209, Second Floor
Time: Friday, 3/15 from 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM

Chair: Deborah Teague Florida State University


Mwangi Chege, University of Cincinnati–Blue Ash – Navigating the Terrain of Academic Discourse as an African American Basic Writer: Teachers as Co-Laborers by Adapting a Dialogic and Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Pedagogy Approach
Dhruba Neupane, University of Waterloo – Mainstreaming Basic Writing Today: Possibilities and Challenges

Meredith Singleton, University of Cincinnati – Exploring the Vernacular Literacy of Community College Students

Sarah Stanley, UAF – Tejada’s Whisper: Micro, Meso, and Macro Levels of a Parenthetical Limit Situation

L.31: Grading and Assessing Basic Writers
Location: Riviera Hotel, Skybox 210, Second Floor
Time: Saturday, 3/16 from 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM


Kerry Lane, Joliet Junior College – Collect $521 and Pass

Wendy Swyt, Highline Community College – Transparency and Grading Contracts: The Work of College Readiness

Chris Vassett, Mesa Community College – A Public Implementation of the Writing Program Administrator’s Outcomes Statement in a Developmental Writing Course

M Session Digital Pedagogy Posters
Location: Top of Riveria–South
Time: Saturday, 3/16 from 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM


Amy Edwards Patterson, Moraine Park Technical College – Encouraging Digital Dexterity in Basic Writers

Lynn Reid, Farleigh Dickinson University – Encouraging Digital Dexterity in Basic Writers

Nicole Hancock, Southwestern Illinois University – Encouraging Digital Dexterity in Basic Writers

We will share two assignments designed to increase digital dexterity in basic writers—an online journal, meant to familiarize students with electronic ways of thinking, and digital literacy narratives to enhance rhetorical thinking. The team, representing a technical college, a community college, and a private university, will share interviews and student projects.

M.15: Class Confidence: Basic Writing, Early Start, and the Future of Remediation at Public Universities
Location: Riviera Hotel, Royale Pavilion 8, First Floor
Time: Saturday, 3/16 from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Chair: Tom Wilcox, California State University, Fullerton


Sheryl Fontaine, California State University, Fullerton – Learning the Etiquette of Academic Culture

Elizabeth Saur, California State University, Fullerton – Enforced Remediation and Reinforced Fears

Patrick Vallee, California State University, Fullerton – Say What? Understanding and Using Professor Feedback

Steve Westbrook, California State University, Fullerton – Remediation or Class Discrimination

M.19: Going Public through Partnership: Basic Writing as a Nexus for Transfer, Advocacy, and Activism
Location: Riviera Hotel, Capri 115, First Floor
Time: Saturday, 3/16 from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Heeding calls from student affairs scholars for academic and student affairs to work together, the speakers will describe their efforts to establish support networks for marginalized students in basic writing courses and to share responsibilities for student success with invested institutional partners. By focusing on student writing as a point of connection, basic writing teachers and administrators can draw on such partnerships on campus and beyond, as sources of support and as sites for students to invest in their writing.

Chair: Nicole MacLaughlin University of Notre Dame


Nicole MacLaughlin, University of Notre Dame – Reaching towards the Whole Student: Collaboration as an Essential Element of an Accelerated Approach to Basic Writing

Ann McNair, University of Southern Mississippi – Operation Advocacy: Partnerships for Fostering Student-Veterans’ Success and Activism in Writing

Paula Patch, Elon University – Better Together: Opportunities for Including Athletic Academic Advisors as Partners in the Teaching and Learning of Writing

M.20: Radical Reform: Changing Basic Writing through Basic Writing Teachers
Location: Riviera Hotel, Skybox 206, Second Floor
Time: Saturday, 3/16 from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM


Shiloh Peters, Missouri State University – Teaching Writing IS a Second Language: How Second Language Acquisition Theory May Mitigate Instructor Bias

Jerry Stinnett, University of Oklahoma – Finding a New Flagpole: Print Literacy, Teaching Practices, and the Instructional Counterpublics of Basic Writing


Posted in Basic Writing Projects & Initiatives, CCCC 2013, Politics of Remediation, Professional Developmwnt, Publishing, Resources, Scholarship of Basic Writing, Social Media, Tech, What's New in Basic Writing, Who is Basic Writing?

Join Us In A Conversation About Basic Writing

Hi, everyone!

You are invited to join us in a conversation about Basic Writing! We’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences, and pedagogical approaches in teaching Basic Writing!

We hope you will join us to share resources, best practices, and to engage as a national community helping members respond to local issues.

This discussion follows up on last year’s roundtable at CCCC. As we did last year, we invite you to join both the asynchronous and synchronous conversations.

Join the conversation online: February 12, 2013 to March 13, 2013. Online conversations will be held on the Council on Basic Writing Facebook Page (

Then, join us in person to continue the conversation at CCCC 2013: Session A.17, Thursday 3/14 10:30 AM – 11:45 a.m. There will also be an online option to join this session if you are not attending CCCC 2013.


Facilitated by Elaine Jolayemi, Ivy Tech and & Leigh Jonaitis, Bergen Community College

Facilitated by Ilene Rubenstein, College of the Desert

Facilitated by J. Elizabeth Clark, LaGuardia Community College–CUNY

Co-Facilitated by Debra Berry, College of Southern Nevada & Marisa Klages, LaGuardia Community College–CUNY

Facilitated by Carla Maroudas, Mt. San Jacinto Community College

Facilitated by Amy Edwards Patterson, Moraine Park Technical College

Hope to see you online or in person!

There’s Nothing Basic About Basic Writing!