Category Archives: Conventions of Writing

Writing for the Community

Module 1 Blog Entry: Keary E. Speer


I was privileged with having the honor of being a part of a company in its infantile stages and have been able to watch it grow from the ground up. The business was a starting out Newspaper Company called “The Campbell County Observer” that was meant to bring local news to our community in Gillette, WY. I started out there as an events writer and covered a wide variety of events all over town. The paper, however, also provided all relevant news like sports, politics, breaking news, etc. Quickly, I moved up to a writer and editor of the paper and remained there for a few years. I eventually gave up the position for other opportunities.

The idea, when it comes to journalism, is to be as completely non-biased as possible in order to report the happenings of the community without any sway to the reading community. Continue reading Writing for the Community


Knowledge is Personal and Rhetoric Generates Character

Hello! Welcome to my first post! The theme of this blog is social and political ideology in college-level writing and composition classrooms. Over the next few weeks, I hope to address concerns and fears about bringing ideology into writing curriculum and lesson plans. My teaching philosophy is rooted in Critical Pedagogy and social-epistemic rhetoric, and throughout these posts I’d love to hear more about the teaching philosophies you subscribe to, and how the ideas I present either relate (or challenge) your ideas on the subject. In this post, I will be looking closely at identity, particularly the identity of the instructor, in the writing classroom.

I sat down to dinner at Flagstaff’s newest vegetarian restaurant last week with two of my colleagues from Northern Arizona University’s English Department. One of them is a volunteer with NAU’s LBGQTIA Organization, and I intended to interview her about the Organization’s communication. I was particularly interested in learning about the constraints and myths faced by the group while promoting events on campus. During most of the interview the other colleague at the table quietly ate her spring rolls and listened. Nearing the end of dinner, however, she unintentionally changed the topic of the  interview to what I now believe is a much more pressing issue: the communication of identity in the classroom.

Continue reading Knowledge is Personal and Rhetoric Generates Character

Successful Written Communications to Make Way for Books

I have always loved children’s literature, so in the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, I (and, undoubtedly, most people, right?) can relate with Meg’s character, Kathleen Kelly, when she says, “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”

I love the possibilities that come from pages of a book!

I caught Melinda Englert, the Grant Writer and Communication Specialist at Make Way for Books in Tucson, AZ at her desk when I called. Melinda was probably in the midst of writing one of a multitude of writing projects when she graciously stopped to chat with me over the phone. Make Way for Books (MWFB) is a non-profit organization whose ultimate goal is to help preschool children enter the school system ready to learn so they may have the best start possible in their future educational pursuits. Continue reading Successful Written Communications to Make Way for Books

Finding Community in a Multi-Department Business

There’s something just a little sinister about giving full creative rein to a potential blogger. I could have picked any of a dozen or so subjects and had an equally enriching experience to share with you, dear reader. Offer me infinite possibilities and I’m going to sit and stew about them for a while.  Instead of doing that, I’ve decided write about an organization with which I have a bitter/sweet relationship, the new car dealership for which I work. This is not a cop out, mind you. I’ve worked in the auto business for almost a decade now, but I’ve also been hobbling my way through the education system so I’ve had what I consider to be a marvelous opportunity to be educated in complex systems and simultaneously observe one first hand. I am that proverbial fly on the wall. What I’ve learned about communications in a complex private business is more than invaluable. Continue reading Finding Community in a Multi-Department Business

A Game of Conversation

If I really want to come from an area that I am a specialist I am going to have to come out of the nerd closet, and talk about a subject that I do not really share with the exception of my closest friends because it is hard to explain to people who do not already know what it is. For this blog I am planning on talking about a card game, Magic: the Gathering. I played the game in middle and high school, took a ten year break, and was able to come back. Unfortunately this break, among other things, means that I am still very much an amateur player. While this was supposed to be a summary of an interview, I am out of touch with all of the professional community and was not able to set up an interview with another amateur writer, so I will be summarizing other interviews along with my first hand experience to help fill out this blog.

There are a wide variety of articles and blogs regarding Magic, ranging from explaining the basics of the game to beginners, strategic articles that breakdown the strength and weaknesses of a deck and teach you how to play, to simple deck lists and tournament reviews. Continue reading A Game of Conversation

A High School Teacher’s Thoughts on Communication

My name is Katy Sutton, and I am a high school English teacher of four years. I’m an avid writer and reader in my free time as well. This blog is meant to give some ideas and thoughts on the way we communicate with one another, but specifically with high school students. Communication is constantly changing, and I hope to give some insight and information to aid high school teachers in communicating with their students effectively.

As an educator in a public high school, communication is so very key on many levels. To build relationships and relay information, various methods and techniques must be used to reach students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and community members. The school district that I work in is unique in the amount of diversity that we have in our student population, which translates to our parent and community populations. The students we teach range from homeless students (3% of our student body) to students whose parents make millions per year. Many of these teenagers come from homes where there is not much support or accountability, but there are of course the exceptions.  As for our staff on campus, through a recent poll, it was found that more than 40 of our district staff are alumni of our high school. We have a lot of school pride and committed teachers, but we have also been experiencing frequent administration changes, resulting in large turnovers in our staff. Continue reading A High School Teacher’s Thoughts on Communication

Writing Center Sessions as Rhetorical Situations

“Please come see us at any point of your writing…we’d love to talk about your ideas, about your work…questions, thoughts, inspirations, frustrations .  Come and have a conversation wherever you are in an assignment,” we assure the students listening to the start-of-term orientation.  “It’s what we do here!”

Who We Are

All fifty-eight Writing Center coaches at the College of Lake County sit at their session tables during a variety of shifts throughout the week ready to engage with students.  Our staff, inclusive of peer tutors enrolled at the college, represents a range of academic degrees and disciplines, and it is this diversity of perspectives and academic backgrounds which provides a rich and varied approach to our conversations. Continue reading Writing Center Sessions as Rhetorical Situations