The Writing Campus: George Mason's WAC Program

The Writing Campus: George Mason's WAC Program The blog of the George Mason WAC program. To see our call for submissions and mission statement, please visit: thewritingcampus.com.

Wait. It’s a blog? Yes. Here at The Writing Campus, we want to explode your ideas about the genre of “scholarly blogging”. . . Think of us as a remix of The Writing Lab Newsletter and ProfHacker. Our goal is to create conversation about writing and writing instruction across institutional and professional centers. We serve the Writing Across the Curriculum community broadly, producing practical, yet scholarly, pieces for instructors in the disciplines who teach and value writing. The pieces we seek will share practices and observations, providing support for faculty writing instructors who teach writing in many different contexts. We welcome a range of styles, approaches, and topics: Traditional. Hybrid. Multi-Modal. Print. Personal. Scholarly. Reflective. Empirical. Submit through our Online Journal System: http://journals.gmu.edu/writingcampus/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

Mission: Central to our WAC mission is the belief that when students are given frequent opportunities for writing across the university curriculum, they think more critically and creatively, engage more deeply in their learning, and are better able to transfer what they have learned from course to course, context to context. The WAC mission forwards goals laid out in the university mission statement by focusing on writing as a pedagogical tool that enables students to develop critical, analytical, and imaginative thinking to address complex social issues, and on faculty development in support of excellence in teaching. The most visible components of our program are: the writing-intensive requirement in the major, with oversight by the WAC Committee, appointed by the Faculty Senate; the advanced composition in the disciplines (English 302) requirement; and writing-infused programs across the curriculum. Good teaching practice is reinforced through faculty development workshops, departmental assessment workshops, and collaboration with other teaching-focused units across the university, including CTE, TAC, CTAC, and the University Writing Center, which provides vital support for student writers. Additionally, this website and the Teaching With Writing Across the Curriculum newsletter celebrate and support faculty efforts in teaching with writing.

This week's Writer of Mason, Dominick Clemente, talks about how writing advice should take different writing situations ...
05/07/2019
Writers of Mason: Dominick Clemente

This week's Writer of Mason, Dominick Clemente, talks about how writing advice should take different writing situations into account. See what he has to say below! #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

“The best writing advice that I ever received was from my grandpa. Don’t take any writing advice too seriously. Because when you take a piece of advice way too seriously, you start to t…

This week's Writer of Mason, Philip Wilkerson, discusses what it means to him to be a "good writer," especially when you...
05/03/2019
Writers of Mason: Philip Wilkerson

This week's Writer of Mason, Philip Wilkerson, discusses what it means to him to be a "good writer," especially when you can always improve. See what he has to say below! #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

“If we use the definition of a ‘good writer’ as an adequate communicator, then I am a good writer because I can communicate thoughts in the written form. With that said, I do not consid…

Say hello to this week's Writer of Mason, Katara Hofmann, who talks about how certain kinds of writing projects can help...
05/01/2019
Writers of Mason: Katara Hofmann

Say hello to this week's Writer of Mason, Katara Hofmann, who talks about how certain kinds of writing projects can help us reflect not only on where we are, but where we might want to go. Check out more at the link below! #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

“I think the most interesting writing projects I’ve ever worked on are always ones where I have to write a biography of myself, because then you have to think about ‘okay, what did I do, how long h…

This week's Writer of Mason, Stanley Zoltek, was an invaluable supporter of the WAC initiative when it was established i...
04/25/2019
Writers of Mason: Stanley Zoltek

This week's Writer of Mason, Stanley Zoltek, was an invaluable supporter of the WAC initiative when it was established in 1993, and offers some of his own writing advice. He will be greatly missed. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

Stanley Zoltek was a true friend to the WAC program. He was one of the original supporters of the WAC initiative, helping to establish the Faculty Senate’s WAC Committee in 1993. Stanley chaired th…

For many, writing doesn't come easily, especially not the "technicalities" that come with it. Our latest Writer of Mason...
04/23/2019
Writers of Mason: Suferah Khan

For many, writing doesn't come easily, especially not the "technicalities" that come with it. Our latest Writer of Mason, Suferah Khan, talks about these difficulties, along with the good advice she's received to help overcome them. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

“Not to be a STEM student, but I don’t consider myself a good writer. When I am writing, I feel like I have good ideas in my brain but putting them down on paper in a quality way is not easy for me…

Ali Golkar talks about how passion plays a role in our writing in the current Writers of Mason profile. Check out what h...
04/18/2019
Writers of Mason: Ali Golkar

Ali Golkar talks about how passion plays a role in our writing in the current Writers of Mason profile. Check out what he has to say about his work below! #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

“Any technical documentation or anything related to technology, internet, cybersecurity, privacy, or net-neutrality, I’ve gotten really good feedback on. Seems like anything that I really care abou…

A lot faculty struggle to find time to keep up on their research agendas during the semester.  Between meetings, teachin...
04/17/2019
How Do We Make Time? Faculty Share Their Research and Writing Advice

A lot faculty struggle to find time to keep up on their research agendas during the semester. Between meetings, teaching, and all of the other things that add up to a faculty member’s work life, time often gets away from us. So, how do we make time for our research and writing?

https://thewritingcampus.com/2019/04/17/how-do-we-make-time-faculty-share-their-research-and-writing-advice/

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com A lot faculty struggle to find time to keep up on their research agendas during the semester.  Between meetings, teachings, and all of the other things that add …

Sometimes, you have to just write it. This week's #WritersofMason, Hanna Vandgergrift, talks about how she overcomes wri...
04/16/2019
Writers of Mason: Hanna Vandergrift

Sometimes, you have to just write it. This week's #WritersofMason, Hanna Vandgergrift, talks about how she overcomes writing insecurity with an unstoppable attitude. Read her take at the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

“I hear a lot of writers and a lot of people worry that they’re not good enough, they’re insecure about their writing, they don’t think that they’re a good writer and that nothing is ever going to …

Tone isn't simple to master, especially when your feedback is to change well, almost everything. This week's #WritersofM...
04/11/2019
Writers of Mason: Daniel Afzal

Tone isn't simple to master, especially when your feedback is to change well, almost everything. This week's #WritersofMason, Daniel Afzal, discusses establishing a personal voice. Read the rest of his advice through the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-daniel-afzal/

“A lot of advice floats around and my advisors are constantly giving me advice. There’s this contradiction set up that’s ‘use your own voice but write like we do.’ You know, in a …

This week's #WritersofMason, LeAn Vo, tells us to just write it all down. Read the rest of her advice through the link b...
04/09/2019
Writers of Mason: LeAn Vo

This week's #WritersofMason, LeAn Vo, tells us to just write it all down. Read the rest of her advice through the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-lean-vo/

“Just write it down! Just write it down, see what happens. Work around it, take it out, play with it, do whatever you want.” LeAn Vo is a Mason alumni applying to graduate programs.

Advice can vary specifically related to writing. But this week's #WritersofMason, Nick Ketchum, has a sentiment from a M...
04/04/2019
Writers of Mason: Nick Ketchum

Advice can vary specifically related to writing. But this week's #WritersofMason, Nick Ketchum, has a sentiment from a Mason professor: "Anyone can tell a story, but it takes skill to show a story." Check out the rest of his profile through the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-nick-ketchum/

“[The] best writing advice I’ve ever gotten was from my first college creative writing professor, whose name escapes me. It was either Goldenthal or Rosenburg and I can’t remember…

When it comes to feedback, students often fear the image of a professor armed with red pens, poised to slash away at the...
04/03/2019
Exploring One Faculty Member’s Decision to Stop Writing on Student Papers

When it comes to feedback, students often fear the image of a professor armed with red pens, poised to slash away at the words that they have lovingly crafted. As professors, however, we are more often than not trying to give students insight into how we might develop their drafts so that they might move their work forward. But, frequently, the revisions students make don’t seem to connect with the feedback that we give. So we have to wonder: do these painstaking comments really make a difference?

https://thewritingcampus.com/2019/04/03/exploring-millners-decision-to-stop-writing-on-student-papers/

When it comes to feedback, students often fear the image of a professor armed with red pens, poised to slash away at the words that they have lovingly crafted. As professors, however, we are more …

Make sure to assess your audience, imaginary or real. This week's #WriterofMason, Sulayman Amjad, explores writing for a...
04/02/2019
Writers of Mason: Sulayman Amjad

Make sure to assess your audience, imaginary or real. This week's #WriterofMason, Sulayman Amjad, explores writing for a specific audience to cater vocabulary and context. Read the rest of the profile through the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-sulayman-amjad/

“The best writing advice I’ve ever received is to write as if you were the audience reading the paper. So, it changed how my vocabulary was based on who I believed to be the audience. Ever since I …

What do short stories, scripts, and sestinas have in common? Well, this week's #WritersofMason, Taylor Mitchell, is expl...
03/28/2019
Writers of Mason: Taylor Mitchell

What do short stories, scripts, and sestinas have in common? Well, this week's #WritersofMason, Taylor Mitchell, is exploring the written words through these genres and more. Read Mitchell's full profile by following the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

https://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-taylor-mitchell/

“I really want to do a sestina, which is a crazy, super complicated, about-2-pages poem. I’m thinking maybe [I’ll do] 10-15 of them. Which is a lot. But I want to cover, maybe, the life of a …

Words of inspiration from this week's #WritersofMason, Stephanie Foster: "So, write a bad paper and then redo it until i...
03/26/2019
Writers of Mason: Stephanie Foster

Words of inspiration from this week's #WritersofMason, Stephanie Foster: "So, write a bad paper and then redo it until it’s what it needs to be.” Read the rest of her profile through the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-stephanie-foster

“I have always been a very careful writer and I’ve always been envious of people who write a really bad first draft. Because I will go to great pains to write as good of a first draft a…

Writing for an audience or for yourself? Associate Professor of Middle Eastern, Arabic, and World literature, Amal Amire...
03/21/2019
Writers of Mason: Amal Amireh

Writing for an audience or for yourself? Associate Professor of Middle Eastern, Arabic, and World literature, Amal Amireh, discusses teaching and writing in regards to specific audiences. Read the rest of her #WritersofMason profile by following the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-amal-amireh/

“The difficulty with writing is that writing is the opposite of teaching. In teaching you are looking outward: you want to deliver the information to students, you have an audience, you want to mak…

As Katherine Gottschalk and Keith Hjortshoj note, drafts can sometimes become “like concrete:” once they begin to se...
03/20/2019
Helping Students Revise

As Katherine Gottschalk and Keith Hjortshoj note, drafts can sometimes become “like concrete:” once they begin to set, they aren’t likely to see changes deeper than the surface. So, the question becomes: how do we help students use our feedback and revise their writing?

https://thewritingcampus.com/2019/03/20/helping-students-revise/

In our last post, we discussed the qualities of good feedback. But as many writing teachers know, giving good feedback is only part of the equation; students still need to use that feedback in ord…

This week's #WritersofMason, Professor Sue-Ming Yang, discusses advice to overcoming writer's block: "And so the recomme...
03/19/2019
Writers of Mason: Sue-Ming Yang

This week's #WritersofMason, Professor Sue-Ming Yang, discusses advice to overcoming writer's block: "And so the recommendation that I learned from the writer's workshop is very helpful: no matter what, just write no more than one hour a day. And stop…when you still feel like you can keep going. because they say that will make it easier for you to start the next day." Read the rest of her profile through the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-sue-ming-yang/

“If you say, ‘I’m going to set aside a whole day, one day a month, or one day a week to do writing,’ chances are that you won’t be able to be very successful. This is …

While literary devices might not be the easiest to implement, this week's #WritersofMason (Aisha Shafi) has found streng...
03/07/2019
Writers of Mason: Aisha Shafi

While literary devices might not be the easiest to implement, this week's #WritersofMason (Aisha Shafi) has found strengths elsewhere. To see what they are, click on the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity #creativewriting

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-aisha-shafi/

“As far as creative writing is concerned I don’t consider myself to be a good writer. I’m not that good at expressing myself that way or using literary devices and techniques to deliver my thoughts…

Here's advice from this week's #WritersofMason, Lilas Dinh: "Know that you, yourself, are flawed. You have dark parts of...
03/05/2019
Writers of Mason: Lilas Dinh

Here's advice from this week's #WritersofMason, Lilas Dinh: "Know that you, yourself, are flawed. You have dark parts of your heart. While you should fear them, you should use them and effectively. A villain should still speak in your voice. As much as a hero would. As much as the village idiot would. And as much as the world’s intellect would. These are all part of you. Make them you.”

To read the rest of the profile, click the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-lilas-dinh/

“The best advice I could give is to write in [your] voice, not in the voice of someone [you’re] not. This seems like bad advice if you’re trying to write a narrative, but it really isn&…

Negative feedback isn't always bad. Instead, you can use it to assess your specific audience. At least that's what this ...
02/28/2019
Writers of Mason: Lynette Cooney

Negative feedback isn't always bad. Instead, you can use it to assess your specific audience. At least that's what this week's #WritersofMason, Lynnette Cooney, did after receiving feedback on her opinion-based paper. Click the link below to read the rest of her account of flipping this feedback on its head. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-lynette-cooney/

“…it was one of my first papers at GMU, and it was strictly an opinion-based paper and I was told that my opinion was wrong. I think most writers can commiserate with that experience because …

Writing intensive courses are built on the concept that students improve as writers when they are given frequent opportu...
02/27/2019
Characteristics of Effective Feedback

Writing intensive courses are built on the concept that students improve as writers when they are given frequent opportunities to revise their writing based upon feedback from faculty. While providing feedback can seem simple, many writing teachers recognize that the task is complex, and it’s common for faculty to feel unsure of how best to provide feedback on writing. In consultation and informal conversations, faculty often ask us: how do I provide effective feedback, and what should I be mindful of as I provide my students feedback?

https://thewritingcampus.com/2019/02/27/characteristics-of-effective-feedback/

Writing intensive courses are built on the concept that students improve as writers when they are given frequent opportunities to revise their writing based upon feedback from faculty. While provi…

This week's #WritersofMason, Raven Royal, discusses her different styles, from journalism to research papers. Read her i...
02/26/2019
Writers of Mason: Raven Royal

This week's #WritersofMason, Raven Royal, discusses her different styles, from journalism to research papers. Read her interview through the bio below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-raven-royal/

“Writing has always been my greatest strength. I have always had a connection with reading and writing over math and science. Being involved in extracurricular activities such as yearbook and…

Doubt is present in all parts of writing. But this week's #WritersofMason, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs Byunghw...
02/21/2019
Writers of Mason: Byunghwan Son

Doubt is present in all parts of writing. But this week's #WritersofMason, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs Byunghwan Son, wants us to remember writing is a gradual process and you "can still cut out some of the unnecessary stuff in drafts." Check out the rest of his profile through the link below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity #GMU

https://thewritingcampus.com/2019/02/21/writers-of-mason-byunghwan-son/

“Writing is a job, a part of my job, a big part of my job actually–research is like 90% of it. And I’m a political scientist, so my work is represented in a written form, at the core of my jo…

Creativity always has a place in writing, even with topics such as the U.S. and war. Read this week's #WriterofMason, Ha...
02/19/2019
Writers of Mason: Haziq Ghani

Creativity always has a place in writing, even with topics such as the U.S. and war. Read this week's #WriterofMason, Haziq Ghani, to hear more about this process of creativity. #amwriting #GeorgeMason

https://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-haziq-ghani/

“There was a project I wrote on called Nation Building. It was basically about how the U.S. or any country goes into wars in other countries to dismantle them and then try to rebuild it. I wa…

Writing can affect us at our very core, and in the case of piano performance major, Danny Lim, just one writer can appea...
02/14/2019
Writers of Mason: Danny Lim

Writing can affect us at our very core, and in the case of piano performance major, Danny Lim, just one writer can appeal to our emotions. To read more of Danny's thoughts on the composer Rachmaninoff, check out his #WritersofMason profile below. #GeorgeMasonUniversity #amwriting #piano

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-danny-lim/

“I wrote something about [Sergei] Rachmaninoff, my favorite composer, and I had to write about his works, his music, his background, and who he was as a person. I really enjoyed it because I …

People new to teaching writing aren’t often sure what proven teaching strategies are and whether those practices are l...
02/13/2019
What Works in Teaching Writing

People new to teaching writing aren’t often sure what proven teaching strategies are and whether those practices are linked to research or simply lore.

Doug Hesse addresses concerns that are often posed by many writing teachers in programs across the country, such as Professor Joseph Teller who worries about his students’ writing abilities despite much instructional effort. Hesse, however, attempts to correct Teller’s position by stating that there are proven, research based practices to teach writing.

https://thewritingcampus.com/2019/02/13/what-really-works-in-teaching-composition/

People new to teaching writing aren’t often sure what proven teaching strategies are and whether those practices are linked to research or simply lore. Doug Hesse addresses concerns that are ofte…

Worried about what should or shouldn't stick on the page? Well, Laura Poms (a professor of Global and Community Health) ...
02/12/2019
Writers of Mason: Laura Poms

Worried about what should or shouldn't stick on the page? Well, Laura Poms (a professor of Global and Community Health) wants everyone to make sure to write and then worry about the "beautiful prose" later. Read the rest of her advice on writing in this weeks #WritersofMason profile below. #amwriting #GeorgeMasonUniversity #GMU

http://thewritingcampus.com/writers-of-mason-laura-poms/

“My advice for writing would [be to] just throw it on the page, just go and keep going and don’t worry that it’s perfect because you can always go back and edit. I sometimes get stuck w…

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General information

At our large state institution, we are proud of the culture of writing that has been created and fostered over the years by faculty, academic departments, and higher administration, all of whom share a commitment to student writers and writing in disciplines. Central to our WAC mission is the belief that when students are given frequent opportunities for writing across the university curriculum, they think more critically and creatively, engage more deeply in their learning, and are better able to transfer what they have learned from course to course, context to context.

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