Monday, February 10, 2014

Teaching Students to Use a Handbook, aka Helping Writers to Write after Your Course Ends


This workshop will focus on the question of why to require and assign a writng handbook. We'll look at the print custom Everyday Writer -- please bring your copy -- as well as a new web-based version of the book, the XBook with two questions in mind: One, why use a handbook in your writing course? And two, what are good strategies for teaching students to learn how to use the book for those times when they need to write and you cannot be there because the night is late or the course is over?  That is, a writing course cannot teach all of writing, it seeks to give students a set of skills they can continue to grow and apply in future courses and beyond.  A key skill for writers is to know when they need advice and help, and how to find reliable help, help they can trust and know how to use. A handbook is meant to be part of that help structure. But for that to work, for that skill to transfer, for writers to grow as writers after the course, they need to learn how to use the handbook. But you know what? Using them in your course and teaching students to use them on their own for when your course is over is not only fun, it can really help your course to better what you want it to do. 


The table of contents for Teaching with Lunsford Handbooks -- for an overview of teaching ideas the book covers.

Crib ideas too from Teaching with Hacker Handbooks -- some will be similar, some will differ, but the principles are the same as Teaching with Lunsford Handbooks.

Bits Blog Handbook teaching tips -- most from Barclay Barrios -- short, sweet, fun, and eclectic are his contributions. Worth the visit just to read a few

LC for Everyday Writer:

The Everyday Writer 5e XBook

Login  page if are a class tester

Stuff on Transfer and Teaching

James Lang on Transfer
"Why Don't They Apply What They Learned,  Part I" and Part II

Paul Krebs "Next Time, Fail Better."

Daniel Willingham, "Why Transfer is Hard." -- from his collection of online articles on how students learn at

"Start Where Your Students Are." and "Know Where Your Students are Going," chapters 1 and 2 from Never Work Harder than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching by Robyn R. Jackson.

Handout on turning essay into list of sentences: Scroll down to entry by Nick Carbone

Side bar: plagiarism resources --

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