Hart holds writing discussion

Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Alexis Hart hosted two informal discussions entitled “Major Myths About Writing” on Tuesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 19 in the Henderson Campus Center.

These sessions were the second installments of a three-part dialogue taking place throughout the semester, all of which are based on the open access book, “Bad Ideas About Writing.”

According to the publisher, West Virginia University Libraries, the goal of the open access text book was to produce cost effective products of a high-quality for for authors, faculty and students.

“We hope that the collection [of essays] is a conversation-starter not a conversation-stopper, and we hope that it provides a catalog of support for productive conversations about how and why to stop the bad ideas about writing and start the good,” wrote the editors of the book, Cheryl Ball and Drew Loewe.

It’s great to hear student voices to help us think about how we teach writing

— Alexis Hart, Professor of English, Director of Writing

In these two sessions, Hart and participants focused on two specific chapters of the book. The first, written by Elizabeth Wardle, argued there is no such thing as “writing in general,” insofar as one’s writing changes depending on the situation, and the second, written by Ellen Carillo, explored the possibility that writing knowledge from one context can transfer to another.

Professor of Chemistry Ann Sheffield, who will be teaching a history course on vikings in spring 2018, attended the Thursday session and said the use of evidence and professional tone were two components of writing that have transferred across her two disciplines.

There were four participants at the Tuesday session from several different areas of the college including the math department, career education and the library. There were three participants at the Thursday session, including a student.

“It’s great to hear student voices to help us think about how we teach writing,” said Hart.

The third installment of the conversations is planned for the month of November.