CFP: Composition Exercises

Composition Exercise Book – The Write Book

NOTE: We have extended the deadline for submissions to July 1.

The Write Book
FORM: Composition exercise book (not a reader!) tentatively titled The Write Book. We are putting together a collection of exercises to be used as an aid to instructors in the high school or college composition classroom.

PREMISE: This should be a practical, hands-on collection of exercises that instructors of composition—especially but not limited to TAs in their first years of teaching—can use live in the classroom. This is not a reader (which there are plenty of already) but a handbook much like “The Practice of Poetry” in which poets share their best writing prompts and in-class exercises. This is meant to be an aid to class work; a workbook for students will be designed to accompany the text.

Examples of what we are looking for might include a 15 minute in-class exercise on paraphrasing, a full hour exercise about narrowing a topic, or a multi-class period peer-review protocol or extended exercise on thesis statements. These can include any exercise which works on a specific skill or problem.

Send us the exercises which have worked for you in the classroom. Please include:
1. A brief narrative of the exercise(s) which explains step-by-step a) what you do to prepare and b) what you actually do once you are standing in the classroom.
2. What kind of paper or assignment is the exercise meant to accompany (argument, description, compare and contrast, etc.)?
3. What specifically should your exercise help students to do (does it help students create thesis statements, paraphrase passages, rebut arguments, etc.)?
4. Give us an approximate time frame for the exercise (does it usually take 15 minutes or two days?).
5. Let us know of any special requirements such as a computer classroom, reference materials, an overhead projector, the Internet, etc.
6. Include the titles of any essays or written texts used in the exercise.
7. Any potential problems.

You will be given full credit for your exercise, so provide your name and affiliation.

Also Looking for Assignment Sheets
We will also include a section with examples of different assignments and prompts, so feel free to send us your best assignment sheets also. In addition to assignment sheets, please include:
1. a brief write-up that explains where it comes in the semester,
2. what assignments proceed and follow,
3. what are its strengths and weaknesses,
4. why is it a useful assignment for the comp classroom, and
5. any practical tips for making the assignment work in and out of the classroom.

Send exercises, assignment sheets, and/or questions to Russ Brickey at, Laura Beadling at, or Kory Wein at by July 1.

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