Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I'm supposed to hand in a draft syllabus for my fall writing course in a couple of weeks. I'm excited about the reading selections I've chosen, but I am stymied by the lack of recommendations the program has given as to how best to incorporate the writing textbook into the course structure. Looking at sample syllabi, some have students reading from the textbook every week; others just use it as a reference for certain assignments. We're also allowed to pick and choose what kind of assignments to do when (whether or not to assign a longer paper, for example, or stick to many shorter ones). The upshot is that I'm at a loss when it comes to choosing between these options -- it's nice, to some degree, that we have all this flexibility, since it implies that however we structure the course, the students are going to learn something. But as someone who hasn't planned a writing course before, and whose last experience taking a writing course was first semester freshman year of college, I'd appreciate at least some recommendations, some outright plusses and minuses of structuring a syllabus in a particular way. The writing program's supposed to be expert, so it's time for them to share some of their expertise. Maybe I'll write and ask, and hope that I get back a less nebulous response.