Spring 2009 MW 12:30pm, Jepson G22

Dr. Joseph J. Essid, English Department
jessid@richmond.edu Phone: x8935
Office Hours:
M, Th 10-11 & by appointment
Personal Web page

About the Course:
Eng. 383 explores fundamental theories of teaching writing, with particular emphasis upon the role of the peer tutor. Although such study, may, in fact, help improve your writing, this is not primarily a writing course. We will discuss these and other questions:

  • What is the nature of the writing process?
  • Why does writing for academic audiences pose special difficulties for students?
  • How is knowledge created in a writing classroom?
  • How, and why, does peer tutoring work?
  • How is writing influenced by a writer's culture? By technology?
  • How can a tutor assist writers from different backgrounds?
  • Can tutors assist writers working with any subject?
  • Why is so much teacher commentary not effective?
  • How can tutors write effective commentary on papers? Hold good conferences?

We will be concerned with both the integrity of the theory and its practical applications in a classroom or tutoring situation. The course is by nature interdisciplinary, its materials drawn from English, linguistics, psychology, and education. What you learn can be applied in many settings, from teaching in middle, high, or graduate school, editing/technical writing for a corporation, working as a free-lance writer or editor.

Eng. 383 provides on-the-job training for undergraduate Writing Fellows, and for this reason, class members will often discuss students' papers. The most important part of this training will involve a weekly shift in the Writing Center as an apprentice tutor and Writing Fellow.

Information  (Policies, schedule of readings, required materials)
The Bosporus Project (Our class Wiki)
(Writer's Web, videos, Web projects)
Class Journal

Report any errors or omissions in syllabus to Joe Essid