Resources For Teachers

This website offers a variety of resources for teachers of writing at Tulane University. If you’re teaching English 101, 263, or 365, or a Writing Intensive course in another department, you can find effective classroom strategies, examples of outstanding syllabi, or student writing samples, and much more here.

The Conceptual Basis of the Program (Use this to develop your course-description)

The purpose of English 101 is to teach students to write clearly and to organize complex arguments that engage in a scholarly way with expert knowledge. Toward that end, students will learn to conduct independent bibliographic research and to incorporate that material appropriately into the sort of clear, complex, coherent arguments that characterize academic discourse. More specifically, in English 101, students will learn that to write clearly means that they must take a piece of writing through multiple drafts in order to eliminate any grammatical errors or stylistic flaws that might undermine the author-audience relationship. They will also learn that, to write with meaningful complexity, they must learn to practice a variety of invention strategies, from the five classical appeals to freewriting to commonplaces to analytic reading strategies to library research – and to revise continuously the material generated by these methods. Students will also learn that, in order to make coherent arguments out of the material generated through these invention strategies without sacrificing complexity, their practice of revision must be guided by certain principles of style and arrangement – for example, principles of emphasis, cohesion, parallelism, figuration, and syntactic variation, to name a few. Also, the students must grow adept in the genre of argument itself through work with models and templates of the sort outlined in the standard rhetorics of argument (for example, Williams, Heinrich, Toulmin, or Graff and Birkenstein). Students must learn, moreover, that in order to create effective arguments they must cultivate strategies for analyzing the texts of others – that is, they must grow adept at situating the texts of others in a context, looking at them through the lens of some other body of thought, to see how such a move heightens the significance of certain elements of the text under analysis. And they must learn strategies for active, critical reading, strategies for deciphering why a text might be arranged a certain way and what that arrangement might mean, as well as strategies for summarizing and paraphrasing and quoting. Also, they must learn to conduct research in the library, evaluating sources, incorporating the work of others into their texts and doing so while following the proper conventions of citation endorsed by the Modern Language Association. Finally, in order to maximize the students’ potential for developing these abilities, the method of instruction in English 101, week by week, will be organized as a hybrid that combines four different instructional modes:

  • Discussions as appropriate to a seminar
  • Hands-on, productive work as appropriate to a studio or lab
  • Brief lectures
  • Regular one-on-one conferencing with the teacher.

Through all of these means, students in English 101 will learn to produce clear, complex, coherent writing with meaningful academic content.

Statement of Outcomes and Policies
(Cut & paste this directly into your syllabus)

Outcomes: Students will learn how to write clearly and how to develop complex, coherent arguments that engage with expert knowledge through independent scholarly research and correct citation of sources.