All posts by Derek Mueller

How to Read

Rob Asghar’s recent Forbes article, “How to Read A Book In An Hour,” echoes discussions we’ve been having in the First-year Writing Program recently about approaches to teaching differentiated reading. By differentiated reading, I mean that all occasions for reading are not equal. Sometimes a first-pass reading should be quick and should arrive at a decision about whether or not a slower and more deliberative reading would be useful. Experienced readers and writers make such judgments nimbly.

I’ll show you here how to read a non-fiction book in about an hour. I should put read in air quotes, I suppose, because the point isn’t to swallow and digest every word and punctuation mark; it’s to be fluent in the book’s basic points and to be able to argue about those points.

At its best, Asghar’s argument emphasizes making full use of a book’s cover, table of contents, and index for apprehending the general project encompassed in the book. But he also introduces debatable (and perhaps perilous) suggestions premised on speed and efficiency as enduring goods.

How do you emphasize differentiated reading your classes? Where do lessons about this fit in first-year writing? In our program’s ENGL/WRTG120 and ENGL/WRTG121 curriculum more generally?

“Crafting Conference Proposals” Workshop

Crafting Conference Proposals
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
6-7:30 p.m.
Pray-Harrold 313

Interested in writing and submitting a conference proposal for an upcoming conference, such as CCCC? Join us for a 90-minute conference proposal writing workshop on Tuesday evening, April 22. The workshop will focus on genre conventions and proposal writing strategies. We will consider approaches to individual and panel proposals, especially mindful of the Call for Proposals for the CCCC Annual Convention in Tampa, Fla., March 18-21, 2015. If you already have ideas or drafts, bring them with you (that said, all are welcome, regardless of whether you are planning to submit a proposal for the 2015 CCCC). The workshop will also provide you with an opportunity for assembling into panels and also for planning and developing a proposal. This year’s online conference proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 19, 2014. Following the workshop, all are welcome to join us at the Corner Brewery from 7:45-9:30 p.m.

For more information, contact John Dunn (, Kate Pantelides (, or Derek Mueller (

CCCC 2015 Call for Proposals by derekmueller

CFPs and Events

Several area conferences and professional development opportunities are coming up as follows:

Becoming a Public Scholar: Creating and Maintaining an Effective Identity Online
Friday, March 28, 2014
12:30-2 p.m., Pray Harrold 301
Sponsored by the EMU English Graduate Student Association. Open to everyone at EMU. Contact Joe Montgomery, for more information.

Two-Year College English Association Midwest Conference (TYCA Midwest)
Thursday-Saturday, October 2-4, 2014
Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI
Visit for more information.

Michigan College English Association (MCEA) Conference
Friday and Saturday, October 24-25, 2014
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
Proposals are due by October 18, 2014 to

Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) Conference
Friday, October 31, 2014
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Proposals are due by Friday, May 2, 2014.  For more information, visit

Thirteen from EMU to Present at 65th Annual CCCC

Thirteen faculty, instructors, graduate students, and recent alums will be presenting their work at the 65th annual Conference on College Composition and Communication in Indianapolis, Ind., March 19-22, 2014. To learn more about the convention or to access this year’s searchable program, visit

Wednesday 3/19 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
RNF.1 – 2014 Research Network Forum at CCCC
Presenter: Jessica Winck, University of Louisville – The Circulation of Student Writing Online: Ethical Implications
Presenter: Chelsea Lonsdale, Eastern Michigan University – Zines in the Academy: When the Underground Arrives
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom V, Third Floor

Wednesday 3/19 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
W.04 – Pre-Conference Workshop
Title: Open Futures? Basic Writing, Access, and Technology: Council on Basic Writing
Speaker: Steven Krause, Eastern Michigan University – MOOCs and Basic Writing
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Room 104, First Floor

Wednesday 3/19 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
MD.01 Consortium Meeting (Open)
Master’s Degree Consortium of Writing Studies Specialists Annual Meeting
Co-Chair: John Dunn, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti
Co-Chair: Derek Mueller, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom IV, Thirdd Floor

Thursday 3/20 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM
C.08 – Roundtable
Title: MOOCing Back to School: A Roundtable of Professors as Students in Massive Online Open Courses
Speaker: Steven Krause, Eastern Michigan University – Alone in a Crowd
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom I, Third Floor

Thursday 3/20 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
D.26 Concurrent
Title: (Re)Opening the Ditto Device: DIY Publishing as Crafting Agency
Speaker: Becky Morrison, Virginia Tech – Using Multi-Modal Composition in a First-Year Writing Classroom: A Study of “At-Risk” Students’ Developing Identities
Speaker: Jana Rosinski, Syracuse University – Cut, Copy, and Compose: DIY Publishing and Rhetorical Ecologies of Materiality
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Room 304, Third Floor

Thursday 3/20 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
E.17 Roundtable
Title: Polymorphic Frames of Pre-Tenure WPAs: Eight Accounts of Hybridity and Pronoia
Speaker: Derek Mueller, Eastern Michigan University – Assembling Handles for Divergent Grasps
Speaker: Kate Pantelides, Eastern Michigan University – Why Won’t this thing Open? Negotiating New WPA Identity
Marriott Downtown, Marriott Downtown, Indiana Ballroom E, First Floor

Friday 3/21 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
F.35 Concurrent
Title: Writing Center Complexities: Pushing Students to Excel in Their Writing
Speaker: Zuzana Tomas, Eastern Michigan University – Capturing the Complexity of Plagiarism: Writing Center Tutor Perspectives
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Room 309, Third Floor

Friday 3/21 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
H.38 Concurrent
MA and PhD Program Design: Impact on Graduate Student Success
Speaker: John Dunn, Eastern Michigan University – A Source for Inventing the Future of the Master’s Degree in Writing Studies: An Analysis of Data from the 2012 Program Survey of the Master’s Degree Consortium of Writing Studies Specialists
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Room 309, Third Floor

Friday 3/21 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
I.08 Concurrent
Title: Evolving Curriculum and Research in Digital Literacy
Speaker: Joseph Torok, Wayne State University – What’s My School of Thought? Tracing Intellectual Networks from Dissertation to Publication in Present Tense Journal
JW Marriott, JW Marriott, Room 309, Third Floor

Thursday/Saturday, 3/20 or 3/22
Digital Pedagogy Poster Presentations
Title: Hey, @students! #LetsChat: Using Social Media to Provide Feedback and Digital Engagement in the Classroom
Presenter: Jessie Miller, Eastern Michigan University
Presenter: Shanna Gilkeson, Eastern Michigan University
Presenter: Lisa Pignotti, Eastern Michigan University

January Announcements

Here are the latest announcements from the FYWP.

Syllabus Collection
Please send as an attachment a copy of your 2014 syllabus and schedule for ENGL120 and/or ENGL121 to no later than this Friday, January 10, 2014. We are collecting syllabi and schedules more routinely as an aspect of ongoing program assessment. In addition and on behalf of the English Department office, Cindy Young is requesting both paper and electronic copies of syllabi be sent to her. Details about this related request are in campus mailboxes.

Photocopy Allocations
New this semester, if you are teaching just one section of FYW, you will have 500 copies and 500 prints on the copier in the mailroom (PH 612C). If you are teaching more than one section, you will have 500 copies and 500 prints set on each copier (PH 612T, PH 612B, and PH 612C). Please direct questions about copy allocations to Marie, or, if you are requesting additional copies, you should contact Mary Ramsey with your request.

Winter 2014 Calendar of FYWP Events
The Winter 2014 Calendar is available on the FYWP blog at We will provide paper copies of the calendar in your campus mailbox by the end of the week. Note that there are several professional development opportunities, including a CV workshop (2/7), a reading group get-together considering Doug Brent’s “The Research Paper and Why We Should Still Care” (3/14), and a conference proposal-writing workshop (4/22).

Laptop Cart
Please remember that the laptop cart is available for your use this semester. For more information about reserving the cart, visit At the start of the semester, you can reserve up to two dates. After January 17, we will expand this to allow for scheduling up to six dates (or more, on a case-by-case basis).

Online Profile Pages
Remember to update your online profile page to include, at a minimum, your office hours for Winter 2014. For a refresher on how to make changes to your page, visit

Did you know?

  • In Fall 2013, a FYWP prefix change was approved, which means that beginning in Summer 2014, ENGL120 and ENGL121 will be cross-listed as ENGL/WRTG120 and ENGL/WRTG121 for one year. In Fall 2015, these classes will be listed officially (e.g., in the catalog) as WRTG120 and WRTG121.
  • The Assessment Subcommittee of the FYWP Committee is revising course outcomes this year with a focus on what distinguishes ENGL120 from ENGL121, specifically.
  • As of January 6, we are offering 64 sections of FYW to 1,556 students this semester. A year ago (WI13) we offered 48 sections.
  • Several photographs by Jack Visnaw showcase the December 2013 Celebration of Student Writing (25th Semiannual!) and are available in this Flickr photoset: Tom Ulch also a collection of photos of the event at The Hive Ann Arbor, The Winter 2014 Celebration of Student Writing will be held on Tuesday, April 8, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.
  • Working in close coordination with the University Writing Center, we are piloting WRTG177: Writing in College this semester. WRTG177 is a one-credit course that provides structured writing support throughout the semester. We opened seven sections, and all have filled, so 42 students are taking part in the pilot this semester.

Winter 2014 Calendar

Please note the following listing of events scheduled for the Winter 2014 semester.

6 Mon – Classes begin
10 Fri – Syllabi and Office Hours due electronically to
10 Fri – Update profile pages online with new office hours (how?)
20 Mon – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, No classes

7 Fri – FYW Committee Meeting, PH313, 12-1 p.m.
7 Fri – CV Workshop (co-sponsored by EGSA), PH313, 1-2:30 p.m.
24 Mon – 3/2 Sun – Winter Recess – No classes

7 Fri – FYW Committee Meeting, PH211, 12-1 p.m.
14 Fri – FYWP/WRCM Reading Series, Doug Brent’s “The Research Paper and Why We Should Still Care,” and Pre-CCCC Strategy Session, Corner Brewery, 3-4:30 p.m.
19-22 – 2014 CCCC Annual Convention, Indianapolis, Ind.

4 Fri – FYWP Colloquium, TBD
8 Tue – Celebration of Student Writing, Student Center Ballroom, 4-5:30 p.m.
11 Fri – FYW Colloquium, 12-2:30 p.m.
21 Mon – Last day of classes
22 Tue – “Crafting Conference Proposals” Workshop, PH313, 6-7 p.m.
22-28 – Final exams

December Announcements

Here are the latest announcements related to the First-year Writing Program.

1. Save the Date: First-year Writing Program Fall Semester Send-off/Party, Tuesday, December 17, 2-4:30 p.m. at the Corner Brewery
Please join us Tuesday, December 17, from 2-4:30 p.m. at Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery for a social event to celebrate the successful semester. Families, guests, and Friends of the FYWP are welcome. The kitchen at the CB will not open until 4 p.m., but we will be providing cookies.

2. Final Grade Submissions
Final grades for Fall 2013 are due before 8 a.m. on Monday, December 30, 2013. For more information, visit the Registration and Records website.

3. 25th Semiannual Celebration of Student Writing
The Celebration of Student Writing (CSW) will convene this Thursday, December 5, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.  More than 1,000 students from 42 sections of ENGL121 will have presentational versions of their research on display at the event. The event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be available. To instructors: Please remind students that the ballroom will be open for setup from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. The doors will close at 2 p.m., and no access will be permitted until the venue opens for everyone at 4 p.m. Please remind all ENGL120 and ENGL121 students that the event is eligible for Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBC) credit. Students seeking LBC credit at the event will be able to pick up a passport at a table near the entrance to the ballroom. Passports will require either stamps or signatures (initials).  If a student asks you to stamp or initial the passport for a given item (e.g., poster presentation, digital presentation, etc.), please do so.  Completed passports can be returned to the same table for LBC credit.

4. Wiki and Profile Pages
If you would like to see any additions or changes to the FYWP wiki, please send suggestions to Also, as you prepare for the winter semester, please remember to update the office hours showing on profile page at