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The WIS-ful Thinking Blog

is a biweekly sampler of the new, developing, and tried-and-true in writing and writing instruction at Western Washington University.

Here you’ll find offerings from Writing Instruction Support and the Learning Commons, plus writing tips and trends, Frequently Asked Questions, and information about the WWU writing curriculum.

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Blog Topic: Teaching Writing

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Three for the road

Posted on: Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 4:30pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing | WIS News

Spring Quarter, where’d you go? This is my last month in Writing Instruction Support and my last post for WIS-ful Thinking. Thanks to everyone who’s emailed or stopped me in the hall to cheer, boo, or recommend materials.

Read full blog post: Three for the road

Language Diversity: The Sequel

Posted on: Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 7:58pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing | WIS News

I received a number of replies to the guest post on “Supporting Language Diversity in Writing,” taking varied positions presented with varying degrees of diplomacy. The first reply began, “Ugh, really?” and had a three-part conclusion: “Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.” The second reply thanked me for a “wonderful” and “helpful” post.

Read full blog post: Language Diversity: The Sequel

A Request & A Reply

Posted on: Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 4:27pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing

First the request: in the next few weeks we’ll be updating the Writing Instruction Support Faculty Resources page, so I’m taking this opportunity to do some crowd-sourcing. If you’re up for sharing web-friendly resources that have helped you teach writing (assignments, documents, links to sites), please send them my way (julie.dugger@wwu.edu).

Read full blog post: A Request & A Reply

Supporting Language Diversity in Writing

Posted on: Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 10:30am

Topic(s): Teaching Writing

Welcome back, and happy Spring Quarter! If you’re reading this, you’ve made it through Thursday of week one. Nine more weeks and a day until summer…

This blog installment is a guest post by Pippa Hemsley, Assistant Director of Writing at WWU’s Hacherl Research & Writing Studio (formerly the Writing Center). Pippa has graciously supplied some background for an upcoming brown-bag lunch discussion on Supporting Language Diversity in Writing, to be held Wednesday April 18th, 12-1pm in Wilson Library 268. Her post provides a link to some (short! especially if you stick to her recommended excerpt!) reading for the discussion, as well as a Studio perspective on faculty expectations for multilingual writers and how the Studio might help them.

Read full blog post: Supporting Language Diversity in Writing

Pet Peeves

Posted on: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 1:41pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing

In the last blog entry I quoted the film Amadeus on the problem of too many words, but arts advocate Deb Currier points out that Amadeus had its origins as a Tony award-winning play. I owe her my thanks because she is right, and it’s also right that we recognize the playwright, Peter Shaffer.

Thanks also to those of you who sent in your grading pet peeves during Fall finals week. I Googled some of these for perspective and discovered that everyone who began a reply with “Maybe it’s just me, but…” is wrong. It’s not just you. Here are some things peeving teachers everywhere:

Read full blog post: Pet Peeves

“I Thought I Was Getting Out of That Business”

Posted on: Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 2:05pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing

Not everyone wants to be a writer, but many professionals end up working with words much more often than they anticipated when they began their careers. That’s one reason to take a look at the WWU Writing Program video at the link below, which includes interviews with a number of experts about how they use writing. Some of these practitioners (a lawyer, a history professor) may have known writing would be important to their jobs, but for others that knowledge came as a surprise.

Read full blog post: “I Thought I Was Getting Out of That Business”

6 Research-Writing Problems and 1 Solution

Posted on: Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 4:47pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing | WIS News

Judging from conversations with faculty and the Research-Writing Studio staff, instructors teaching research writing assignments at WWU face a number of challenges:

Read full blog post: 6 Research-Writing Problems and 1 Solution

Send Me the Words You Never Want to See Again

Posted on: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 2:57pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing

It’s finals week, and odds are you have a stack of grading in front of you and some very un-favorite words.

Read full blog post: Send Me the Words You Never Want to See Again

Your Comments on Passive Voice

Posted on: Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 3:34pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing

I should have known the way to stir excitement in writing teachers was to talk about passive voice.

Read full blog post: Your Comments on Passive Voice