Spring 2018, Write@UGA Blog Carnival 2018

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:

Write@UGA Blog Carnival: Call for Posts

Writing is a ubiquitous and essential activity in the digital age. As the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2012) puts it in The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011,  “Writing in the 21st century is defined by its frequency and efficiency. It is clear that the ability to use written language to communicate with others…is more relevant than ever.” We spend our days texting, emailing, writing posts on a wide variety of social media, and commenting on websites and blogs. Yet writing, a vital skill in the information age, is often neglected, termed a “soft skill,” and viewed as the province of grammar-obsessed English teachers. The importance of communicating effectively through writing is one of the key themes sounded in surveys of employers since the early days of the 21st century (see, for example: Writing: A Ticket to Work…Or a Ticket Out 2004; The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions 2012; Are They Really Ready to Work? 2016). Here at the University of Georgia, President Jere Morehead noted in his January 2018 State of the University address that “Employers…continue to cite writing as one of the most important competencies for their employees but an area where the average college graduate is underprepared” (7), and announced a new initiative to strengthen the writing requirement at UGA. While there is much to be done to make writing a more central and coherent part of the undergraduate curriculum at UGA, over the years there have been numerous initiatives and programs in a variety of Colleges and Departments that have sought to support the centrality of writing in academic and professional life. UGA boasts an award-winning and technologically innovative First-Year Composition Program, a 20+ year old writing-in-the disciplines program (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ Writing Intensive Program), the Writing Fellows Program for faculty (now in its tenth year), the Division of Academic Enhancement’s writing tutors, and many program-specific writing programs and resources, such as the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources’ Writing Tutorial Program and the Terry College of Business’s Department of Economics Senior Thesis program.

In this blog carnival, we seek contributions that will help us explore the writing landscape at UGA to both highlight the successes and opportunities for writing for students and faculty, as well as draw attention to the need to make writing a more integral and cohesive component of the curriculum and focus of this institution. Posts might take up such topics as:

  • profiles of programs or initiatives or resources focused on writing (e.g., WIP, Writing Center, “Capturing Science” contest, etc.)
  • profiles of successful writers, both faculty and students (especially those who highlight the importance of writing in departments or programs not traditionally associated with writing, e.g., STEM, Warnell)
  • attitudes about writing among UGA undergraduates and ideas for building student support for attention to writing in the curriculum, or student ideas for writing resources and support
  • faculty approaches to teaching writing, especially in fields not traditionally associated with writing or approaches that develop digital literacy skills
  • efforts to support faculty in their writing (e.g., Sustainable Writing Practice Program, Office for Proposal Enhancement)
  • speakers or workshops on writing