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Paragraph Writing

One of the most important skills that we can give our students is the ability to communicate with clear, coherent writing. This is certainly a skill that will give our graduates an advantage when seeking jobs, and a skill that employers typically find lacking in college graduates. But the importance of clear writing may be even greater; it may be a skill that is a prerequisite for clear thinking and meaningful learning.

The 2012 Writing Certification Program is the first step in an ambitious plan to have writing be a part of almost every UTB/TSC course - a plan to establish uniformity in what is done in the classroom, in what students expect, and in what is expected of students.

UTB/TSC instructors who successfully attend this workshop Program will receive certificates that will become part of their portfolios. They will also be recognized as some of the pioneers, and perhaps leaders, in what will be a campus-wide effort.

The core of the Program will be paragraph writing, the kind of writing that can be used to demonstrate understanding of the details of trigonometric functions, the Louisiana Purchase, covalent bonds, beach erosion or diagnostic criteria. The Program will not deal specifically with essay writing, the kind of writing that, along with paragraph writing, is relevant and appropriate in some courses.

The program consists of four carefully focused Workshop Sessions. The first Session and part of the second will deal with the principles and practice of clear writing. For most of the remainder of the Sessions, attention will be directed toward practical issues of using and grading writing in the classroom and toward the capstone project: each participant will create, assign, and grade a written homework or exam question in an ongoing course. More detail is given in the following descriptions.

To access the information flyer, click here.


Workshop Sessions will be at 2:15pm-3:45pm in UBCB 2.112 on:

  • January 25, 2012
  • Febuary 1, 2012
  • Febuary 8, 2012
  • March 7, 2012

Instructors: Mark Blakemore, Richard Price, John Foreman

Status of Workshop: This workshop is capped at 25 participants. To register please contact:

News on progress of the campus wide initiative:

Richard Price and the committee have produced a seven minute video that faculty can play on the first day of class. This video provides students with the Campus Wide Standards and stress the importance of every single class they take being a writing class. Along with the video are a handbook for faculty and one for students and rubrics for grading paragraphs. This can be found on Blackboard if you are teaching a University Experience class or on the Center for Teaching and Learning web pages under Writing Across the Curriculum.

  • David Fisher
  • Richard Price
  • Mark Blakemore
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