from First Year Writing
Shared Text Project
The English Department
at the University of West Georgia and the First Year Writing
Program adopted in fall of 2002 the use of shared texts in its two
freshman English composition courses. In the introductory writing
course, all English 1101 students read works of nonfiction: Janisse
Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood was the shared text in fall 2002,
and Wally Lamb's Couldn't Keep It to Myself was the shared text for
fall 2003. In English 1102 students continue their composition study
but are introduced also to the critical study of fiction. The shared
texts for these classes have been novels-Terry Kay's To Dance with
the White Dog and Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone.
For summer 2004,
fall 2004, and spring 2005, the shared text for English 1101 is Steve
Almond's Candyfreak. The shared texts for English 1102 are Greg Fraser's
Strange Pieta and Chad Davidson's Consolation Miracle.
is set to appear at the Townsend Center of Performing Arts during
Fall Semester 2004. Greg Fraser and Chad Davidson will appear together
at the Townsend Center during Spring Semester 2005. All three authors
will present parts of their works to the audience and will answer
questions related to them.
are expected to be involved in ongoing professional development activities
sponsored by the department. All other faculty members are welcome
and are encouraged to attend whenever possible. Session topics are
based on needs expressed by instructors as well as on Writing Committee
recommendations and requests by the Department Chair.
have included Grade Distribution, Shared Text Discussion, and Writing
Center Collaboration. The First Year Writing Program is scheduled
to hold its upcoming workshop on Friday, March 12, 2004-the workshop
will be centered on the chosen shared texts for summer 2004, fall
2004, and spring 2005 and will include presentations/discussions from
FYW faculty as well as Dr. Greg Fraser and Dr. Chad Davidson. FYW
faculty will be asked to discuss particular works they have taught
and/or plan to teach that may go well with the chosen shared texts.
Both Dr. Fraser and Dr. Davidson will discuss their own individual
works, what texts might go well with them, and approaches to teaching
their poems. They will also include a discussion of how their texts
may be taught in tandem with each other. The workshop is to be held
in TLC 1200 from 3-5 pm.
administrators, and instructors in First Year Writing will be encouraged
to learn that recently released figures show marked improvement in
our students' Regents' essay scores. According to the Governor's Office
of Student Achievement, the percentage of UWG students passing the
essay portion of the exam has risen. Among the thirteen designated
State Universities, UWG ranks third in the percentage of students
who passed the Regents' essay examination: in the period cited by
this study, 1219 UWG students took the test, and 80.6 percent passed.
For additional details and, perhaps, to savor these scores log on
Now in the second
semester of its association with the English department, the Writing
Center offers writing assistance and composition resources across
the disciplines to all university students. As tutors in the Writing
Center, First Year Writing instructors and visiting assistant professors
provide direct and accessible assistance to students seeking additional
instruction in writing.
tutor in the Writing Center creates a win-win situation for teachers
and students alike. By seeking assistance in the Writing Center, students
gain the immediate benefit of an instructor's expertise and knowledge.
In turn, by working one-on-one with students, instructors acquire
both an enhanced understanding of their own classroom teaching and
a greater awareness of the goals of the First Year Writing Program.
As the association continues, the English department and the Writing
Center will continue their commitment to students and to the improvement
of the critical skills of writing and reading.