Rethinking College Writing Instruction

Monthly archive for September 2017

Karen Pryor’s shaping laws

Karen Pryor, one of the world’s best animal trainers and dog trainers, inspired key parts of this course. Look at what she has to say about reinforcing new skills, in the scanned paragraph. Though she’s talking about animals, we can easily imagine freshman writing students in this paragraph. Read the […]

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Geraldine worries about “concrete nouns”

Some teachers worry that emphasizing concrete nouns will reduce your ability to say interesting things about ideas. Geraldine A., who teaches freshman comp in Boston, expressed that worry recently.  She wrote: “I appreciate the section encouraging use of concrete nouns, but I would want to be careful not to jeopardize […]

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John G. Maguire
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Lowell MA 01852