unCommon News (July 2014)
unCommon News (July, 2014)
A crowd-powered newsletter for a writing-centered community
I am excited to announce the launch of My Campus, a companion site to Writing Commons, which celebrates the talents of undergraduate writers across the globe. Although the narrative that students “these days” can’t write is pervasive, scholarship counters this claim and suggests this critique has been leveled at students since we began recording reactions to student writing (Connors). On the contrary, as illustrated by the Stanford Study of Writing, students are writing more than ever, and they are writing in different genres, with different modes, purposes, and apparatus (Lunsford).
Spend time on the site, read widely, and contribute to the conversation.
Editor-in-Chief, My Campus
Assistant Professor of English, Eastern Michigan University
This month, we are pleased to publish "Understanding URLs" by Christine Photinos, an Associate Professor at National University. In this webtext, Photinos walks through each part of a URL, including the URL protocol, domain name, sub-directories, subdomains, and top-level domains; she then explains some strategies for precision web searching using URL information. Finally, the webtext ends with two exercises where students can practice their skills with a link to answers on another page.
Assistant Professor, UW-Colleges
Call for Papers and Posters, 2014 International Writing Studies Conference: Sharing Research and Pedagogies (November 6-7, 2014)
- Submission deadline: 1 August 2014
- Notification of acceptance: 1 September 2014
- Colloquium updates: http://malmowsc.com
Please join the faculty of Malmö University and the University of South Florida this November in Malmö, Sweden. We seek to:
- Create an opportunity for both researchers and instructors to share their experiences of North American and/or European EFL theories and practices of teaching academic writing
- Generate insights into these theories and practices
- Explore and develop ways of working together with education technologies
- Explore the possibilities of researching writing through Big Data and corpus methodology
- Find solutions to common problems within writing instruction
- Form viable networks to facilitate future collaborative international research and pedagogical projects.
Of specific interest are the following questions:
- What important similarities and differences exist between North American and European EFL theories and teaching practices in academic writing?
- What elements of European writing pedagogy could or should be imported to North American audiences and vice-versa?
- What are the central social, cultural, and institutional differences that affect the teaching of writing at the university level?
- How are educational technologies transforming both learning communities and research methods?
The colloquium is based around a number of sessions with common themes where the participants can present their research and narratives in the form of papers or posters. In particular, we are looking for contributions within the following area clusters:
- Narratives of people’s experiences with teaching a particular approach(es) to teaching academic writing;
- E-tools, digital technology, blended learning environments;
- Collaborative writing, peer reviewing, and instructor feedback—pedagogical development and assessment practices;
- L2 learners—what should we focus on in writing instruction?
- New methods of making student writing accessible to research—Big Data, corpora, other digital tools.
Invitation to Participate
The LILAC Project (Learning Information Literacy Across the Curriculum) invites institutions to join us as partners in an exciting multi-institutional study of students’ information-seeking behaviors.
LILAC subjects complete an online questionnaire gathering demographic data and information about their research training and skills, along with a 15-minute research session using a research-aloud protocol (RAP) that captures their voice narration and screen activities as they research a topic.
In the past, we've mentioned how our Go Daddy! analytics differ from Google's analytics. According to Go Daddy! analytics, 516,812 unique visitors or 712,818 total visitors used Writing Commons in 2014, visiting 2,760,520 pages—a total of 21,688,802 hits.
As depicted by Figure 1 below, according to Google Analytics, traffic during the first six months of 2014 has been slightly higher than traffic in 2013: 444,810 vs 405,331 users--a 9.74% increase. Users visited 806,085 pages, a 14.01% increase since 2013.
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Don't forget to connect with Writing Commons on Twitter using @writingcommons and #writingcommons. Writing Commons' tweets consist of answers to students' most common writing questions, such as "What's a paragraph supposed to have?" and "What's Rogerian argument?" Each tweet is hyperlinked to our Writing Commons blog where Writing Commons staff members provide succinct, accessible answers, and helpful examples.
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