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.

Against Students?

From Sara Ahmed’s “Against Students” (The New Inquiry, June 29, 2015):

The “problem student” is a constellation of related figures: the consuming student, the censoring student, the over-sensitive student, and the complaining student. By considering how these figures are related we can explore connections that are being made through them, connections between, for example, neoliberalism in higher education, a concern with safe spaces, and the struggle against sexual harassment. These connections are being made without being explicitly articulated. We need to make these connections explicit in order to challenge them. This is what “against students” is really about.

How we think about students and how we talk about students reflect attitudes toward teaching. Teaching is only possible within the bounds of these attitudes. How, then, do we think about and talk about students?


The Eastern Michigan University Written Communication Program and the Michigan State University Writing and Digital Environments Research Center invite you (faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, community members, anyone interested) to propose ideas for the fourth WIDE-EMU, a free (un)conference on Saturday, October 10, 2015 in East Lansing, Mich. We seek proposals that engage the framing question for this year’s event:

Is ____ writing?

What counts as writing? The definition of what we consider to be writing is constantly shifting, evolving, and expanding. Writing classrooms now ask students to work with social media, web design, data visualization, image manipulation, and a myriad of other artifacts and practices. The question is: can we call any of those activities writing? How does writing relate to audio, visual, digital, and multimodal composing processes? How do we situate writing in the classroom, especially when students increasingly engage in the production of artifacts that feature a range of modes (textual, visual, sonic, haptic, digital, and more)? Is writing different from or similar to making? Should multimodal making be considered writing? What are the institutional and disciplinary pressures for claiming writing? Who has the agency to claim what is/isn’t writing? What are the implications of assigning writing to all forms of making? What discourses do we construct and perpetuate by claiming the act of writing? In an age of digital consumption and production, how do we prepare students for complex work that goes far beyond the act of writing? Learn more about WIDE-EMU ’15 at

Winter 2015 – Sustainable CSW

This winter’s Celebration of Student Writing is on Thursday, April 9, 2015, from 4-5:30 in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Center. The video posted here provides perspective on preparing for the event from two of the First-year Writing Program’s  best instructors, Clare Sansburn and Amy McBain.