All posts by Derek Mueller

Library Additions – Summer 2017

The EMU First-Year Writing Program has delivered the  following titles to Halle Library as part of its  resources initiative. Titles will be available for check-out later this summer.

  • Race and Writing Assessment (Studies in Composition and Rhetoric) , edited by  Mya Poe  and Asao B. Inoue
  • Transnational Writing Program Administration by David Martins
  • Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story: Teaching American Indian Rhetorics, edited by  Rose Gubele and Lisa King
  • On Multimodality: New Media in Composition Studies (CCCC Studies in Writing & Rhetoric) by Jonathan Alexander and Jacqueline Rhodes
  • From Form to Meaning: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957-1974 by David Fleming
  • A New Writing Classroom by Patrick Sullivan
  • The Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing: Scholarship and Applications, edited by Nicholas N. Behm, Sherry Rankins-Robertson, and Duane Roen
  • Labored: The State(ment) and Future of Work in Composition, edited by Randall McClure, Dayna V. Goldstein, and Michael A. Pemberton
  • A Critical Look at Institutional Mission: A Guide for Writing Program Administrators, edited by Joseph Janangelo

To make additional requests, please  complete the Book/Material Purchase Request Form.

Class Discussion Strategies

From the Cult of Pedagogy blog, “The Big List of  Class Discussion Strategies” circulated  widely last fall, but it has resurfaced in recent days because it presents as a strong collection of ideas for framing class discussions. Note that it  includes Think-Pair-Share as a strategy, which in the context of EMU’s First-year Writing Program is  introduced as Write-Pair-Share. The list of discussion would also do well to include Crumple Toss, the practice of brief fast-writes which are then balled up and tossed into the center of the room. Next students retrieve one and share from it, which each item shared serving as genesis for addressing questions, deepening  observations or responses, reinforcing concepts pertinent to a particular lesson or project  setup.

Glossary of Multimodal Terms

Looking for a broader and deeper vocabulary to associate with multimodality? Check out the Glossary of Multimodal Terms.

Why this glossary
Multimodality studies how and to what social and cultural effects people use and transform resources for communication including speech, image, gesture, gaze, and others. In the last decade or so multimodal studies have introduced many new terms (such as ‘mode’); and they have begun to redefine many ‘old’ones (such a ‘genre’). The aim of this glossary is to provide inroads into this cross-discliplinary enterprise.

Library Additions – Summer 2016


The EMU First-Year Writing Program has delivered the  following titles to Halle Library as part of its  resources initiative. Titles will be available for check-out later this summer.

  • Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Gender, Whiteness (Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms) by Krista  Ratcliffe
  • Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing (Pitt Comp Literacy Culture) by Rebecca Dingo
  • Writing Studies Research in Practice: Methods and Methodologies  by Lee Nickoson and Mary Sheridan
  • Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies (Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms) by Jacqueline Jones Royster and Gesa Kirsch
  • Exploring Composition Studies: Sites, Issues, Perspectives by Kelly Ritter and Paul Matsuda
  • The WPA   Outcomes Statement-A Decade Later (Writing Program Administration) by Nick Behm, Greg Glau, and Deb Holdstein
  • Outcomes Book: Debate and Consensus after the WPA Outcomes Statement by Susan Harrington and Keith Rhodes
  • Writing against Racial Injury: The Politics of Asian American Student Rhetoric (Pitt Comp Literacy Culture) by Haivan Hoang
  • Stories of Mentoring: Theory and Praxis (Lauer Series in Rhetoric and Composition) by Michelle Eble and Lyne Lewis Gaillet

To make additional requests, please  complete the Book/Material Purchase Request Form.



We invite proposals for the 2016 WIDE-EMU Conference, a free, one-day event on October 15, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Please help us circulate the call widely. The complete call and details about the conference are online at

Phase 1–Propose–has just begun and continues through August 31. We are asking for proposals that will respond to the conference’s framing question: What does writing want?

As you will see on the web site and proposal submission form, we’re asking for titles/ideas for three kinds of presentations:

  • Talk: much like a typical conference presentation, only short-form. Propose a brief paper, a roundtable discussion, a panel, etc. Individual talks should not exceed ten minutes.
  • Do: a demonstration or a workshop. Propose a session focused on the “how to” related to a software application or pedagogical approach.
  • Make: produce something (or the beginning of something). Propose a session in which participants will “make” a web site, a lesson plan, a manifesto, a syllabus, etc.

During Phase 2–Respond–we’ll be asking proposers to expand their proposed ideas with something online to share ahead of the face to face meeting on October 15. What exactly this “something online” looks like is highly flexible: a blog entry, a slidedeck, a podcast, a video, etc. You could also think of this as a teaser or a preview for your session and a few of its key provocations.

The face-to-face conference will be on October 15, 2016 at Eastern Michigan University. We will announce the featured plenary speaker/activity later this summer.

Please visit the site at, submit a proposal, and plan to attend. If you have any questions about the proposal process or the conference itself, please reach out to Derek Mueller at We hope to see many of you of this fall.

How to Email Your Professor

A fitting pairing with all WRTG120 instructors who foreground genre for the second project, Laura Portwood-Stacer’s Medium article, “How to Email Your Professor (without being annoying AF),” is deservedly circulating in recent days.

Every semester, I see the tweets and Facebook posts. My professor friends, they are annoyed. Their students do not know how to write emails, they say. What they really mean is that their students don’t know how to follow the conventions of email etiquette in the academy. I used to be exasperated by student emails too. Until I realized that there was a simple explanation for why they didn’t know how to write them — they’ve never actually been taught how.*

The article maps specific features of an appropriate email. Consider as a complementary activity to this reading asking students to bring in emails  they have written and sent in the past for comparative analysis. Have emails whose features accord with Portwood-Stacer’s model been received favorably? What are some of the requests that, in spite of the email’s careful  adherence to this model, might still be ill-received?

Why Plagiarism Doesn’t Bother Me At All

A recent article by Gerald Nelms, “Why Plagiarism Doesn’t Bother Me At All,” has been circulating on the WPA-L listserv and getting deserved attention for its response to the oftentimes alarmist reactions to referential and source-based academic writing.

Now, plagiarism doesn’t irritate me at all. Student plagiarism doesn’t surprise or shock me. It doesn’t raise my heart rate. And perhaps most surprisingly, it doesn’t make me think any less of the student who has plagiarized. In fact, I now expect plagiarism, I anticipate it, I even provoke it. I want it to happen. And it always does, because I create assignments that virtually require it. Now, you may be reacting to my saying this in the same way that others have in the plagiarism workshops I have facilitated for 15 plus years: with shock.