The Class You Didn’t Know You Need To Take: ENGL 3590W

By Corinn Gurak

“Everyone needs to take this class.”

I have heard this phrase from many teachers who have taught this course and from students who have taken it. This class teaches you how to write in a relevant way, not an abstract, metaphorical analysis way. Dr. Christopher Alexander teaches Technical and Professional Communication, that encourages developing writing skills for the professional world.  Many students at UGA can be heard saying something like, “I took this major because I didn’t want to write,” “I am more of a numbers person,” or “I’d rather take a test than write an essay any day.” All of those statements are valid,  yet those students do not realize that writing is an integral part of their professional and everyday lives. So, in this course, you will find yourself working on professional writing that is relevant to all majors, including STEM. Alexander is looking to develop skills and knowledge on how to write within various disciplines and fields. He recognizes that writing is not integrated into many classes at the University of Georgia and they rely more on multiple choice exams for evaluations. He feels that students may be “less familiar, less aware or less interested,” in writing, so this class seeks to fill the gap by providing a dynamic approach to writing.

Alexander highlighted a few projects that the students complete in Technical and Professional Writing that bridge this divide:

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Writing Across Campus: How Two Religion Professors Make Writing Relevant

By Kayla Barnes and James Ogletree

Writing is not everyone’s favorite subject/hobby/activity. Ask any college student and they will likely tell you that they dread the constant barrage of essays they are required to churn out. Even the best writers have often admitted that their craft caused more blood, sweat, and tears than health, fame, and fortune.

The unamicable relationship between students and their writing is often the result of rubric-based exercises that encourage fact regurgitation instead of critical thinking. Rather than rewarding a student’s comprehension of the subject matter, their ability to restate class material in their writing is evaluated. Dai Hounsell of the University of Edinburgh refers to this as “the undergraduate’s Amazon” because the coursing river of papers is so prevalent in the undergraduate experience.

There is a simple solution to this problem: offering response-based writing can lead to true comprehension and ownership of material. Continue reading “Writing Across Campus: How Two Religion Professors Make Writing Relevant”

Creative Writing: “It’s a lot of fun.”

By Anna Warnell

Whenever I think about creative writing, I usually picture someone who is more hip, more stylish, and smarter than me. I think, “creative writing, that’s not for me. That’s for someone else.” Picture: eclectic coffee shop, oversized reading glasses, maybe a handlebar mustache. But what if I told you that you don’t need to drive a hybrid or have your own organic garden to write creatively? What if I told you that the skills learned during creative writing processes help in creating resumes and winning over future employers?

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Curriculums and Careers: UGA’s Writing Certificate Program

By Zachary McCannon

I’m an English major whose twin is a Mechanical Engineering major. Besides being opposites – myself a writer and he not so much – he tells me that most engineers struggle in communicating their ideas. He also tells me that often the most terrifying parts of an engineer’s job are proposals. This is the part of the job that requires the most communication skills, which are largely unaddressed in the curriculum he’s taken.

However, many non-English Majors tend to avoid writing and English courses in their college careers. They stop after First Year Composition. These students avoid them either because they dislike writing or the belief they won’t need it. I know for a fact that my brother doesn’t enjoy English classes, but even so, he wishes he was a better writer. And the truth of the matter is that writing is an inescapable skill often looked for among job applicants but rarer than it should be, especially in a networked society such as ours. While English majors might create different kinds of writing for their careers, non-English majors still need writing skills. Fortunately, UGA is attempting to address this issue through its writing programs, particularly through the Writing Certificate Program. Continue reading “Curriculums and Careers: UGA’s Writing Certificate Program”

You Should Go to the Writing Center

By Kate Sims

It started when I was talking to this girl in my class.  She’d just switched to English from a STEM major, and this was her first English class since high school.  As we geared up to write our first paper, she was worried about it because she hadn’t written a paper in years.

“You could always go to the Writing Center,” I suggested.

Her nose wrinkled.  “Oh, God, no.  I’m not that bad.”

I tried to explain that it would still be useful anyway, but she shrugged it off, and the conversation moved on.

So, let’s dispel a few rumors about the Writing Center:

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Write@UGA Blog Carnival 2018!

This February, students in Dr. Elizabeth Davis’s Writing for the Web course (ENGL 4832W) spent time thinking about how to use the web to highlight the importance of writing at UGA. Dr. Davis and the students decided to have a “blog carnival” soliciting blog posts that focused on a writing program, initiative, course, person, resource, or issue that students in the class felt deserved attention. Look for these blog posts to be featured here at the Write@UGA website in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here is the “Call for Posts” Dr. Davis wrote that helped give the class direction for post topics:

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