Composition Program – August Announcements and Reminders

Syllabus and Office Hours Collection
We have syllabi to collect from more than 170 sections of composition this fall, so your timely assistance with this important task will be a great help to us. Please send syllabi and office hours to composition -AT- no later than the end of the day on Wednesday, September 4. If you are teaching more than one section of a class, it is fine to send just one copy of the syllabus, preferably with your last name as the first word in the filename. If you are a GTA who has already provided your final syllabus to Steve Oakey for early review, you do not need to heed this request. We are asking for syllabi from everyone else teaching ENGL1105 or ENGL1106 to be submitted this way. When you submit your syllabus, please also include the following in the body of the email message:

Fall 2019 office hours: ______________________Highest degree obtained (for instructors who are willing to have it listed with the others on the online directory at (e.g., MA, Virginia Tech, 2013)

Circulating Shared Teaching Materials
Some attendees at the August Workshop last week asked if we could provide a space for posting and finding one another’s current teaching materials (schedules, lesson plans, daily activity descriptions, or assignment sheets). In response, we have modified the assignment share Google Team Drive from last November’s Teaching Talk. Please contribute to the folder whatever you are willing to share, and review posted materials there at your convenience. If you post materials, please include your name and email address in each document. Also, feel free to add new folders; if you have any trouble accessing the Team Drive, contact me at dmueller -AT- or Steve Oakey at soakey -AT- continues to expand as a hub for many writing program materials, including an up-to-date directory of instructional staff, an overview of program outcomes, and curriculum maps and resources related to ENGL1105 and ENGL1106. Please continue to share with us your ideas for improving this growing collection of materials. 

Teaching Portfolio Awards
In the year ahead, we are inviting submissions for the Composition Teaching Portfolio Award–an award designed to encourage the development and collection of exemplary teaching materials. The full description of the award is available online at (also attached). Teaching portfolios must be submitted by Friday, March 13, 2020

Corridors Conference
Thanks to the efforts of Brooke Covington, Kelly Scarff, and Kate Natishan, the conference program for Corridors: The Blue Ridge Writing and Rhetoric Conference is now online at This free, one-day conference will be held in Shanks Hall on Saturday, September 21. We have twenty-eight presenters from California to Florida and ranging from graduate students to tenured faculty. We hope everyone in the department will consider attending, supporting your colleagues, and helping us make this event a success. 
Understanding Rhetoric 

VT Custom Edition
Textbook orders have been placed for all sections of ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 for Fall 2019. The sticker price is $68.00 for 2019-2020. The volume spans two semesters, and it includes chapters that underscore key principles guiding this program. Two copies have been placed on reserve at Newman Library and can be checked out by first-year students for two hours at a time (thanks, Lauren!).  Also, the four custom chapters will be opened to program-wide discussion and revision suggestions in October. 

Pathways Assessment Required for All Sections of ENGL1105 and ENGL1106
You may have received an email notification from Stephen Biscotte in the Pathways/Gen Ed office about this semester’s assessment data. All sections of ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 must report Pathways assessment ratings this semester. Instructions specific to the Composition Program are available for you to review at Pathways data can be submitted when you complete the evaluation of the major project anchoring each course (rhetorical analysis in ENGL1105 and sustained research project in ENGL1106); you don’t have to wait until final grades are due (though you can, of course). Data are due no later than Friday, December 20, 2019

Composition Program Fall 2019 Schedule
The Composition Program Fall 2019 Schedule is available online at  (also attached), and it lists guest presenters, teaching talks, Composition Committee meetings, and other events related to the program. Teaching Talks are open to everyone in the department; Julie Mengert and Steve Oakey will be following up with a reminder to all whose attendance is expected as a part of their GTA appointment. 

Teaching Materials Totes
In Spring, the Composition Program, with the help of Katie Beth Brooks, established several supply totes available for checkout from the 2nd and 4th floor printer closets. These black canvas bags contain materials and supplies appropriate for a variety of multimodal in-class activities. We ask that they be returned after each use so everyone in the program can have continuing access to them. If you have ideas about how to improve the check-out system or if you would like to see other classroom supplies added to the totes, please contact Derek Mueller at dmueller -AT- 


Writing About Writing and Critical Sourcebooks
I have available a copy of Writing About Writing for everyone in the department who is interested. Writing About Writing is an undergraduate composition textbook that includes in it several teaching resources and framing pieces that fit well with our program’s updated principles and outcomes ( Stop by Derek’s office for your complimentary copy at your convenience. 


In addition, the program has procured fifteen copies of each of the following critical sourcebooks related to questions raised in teaching talks over the past year. These critical sourcebooks are available on a first-available basis, so please reply to this email to ask for a resource to be left in your campus mailbox or stop by Shanks 315 for a copy. You are welcome to stop by and to glance the tables of contents before requesting a copy. The titles–available to anyone and everyone in the department–are as follows:

  • Students’ Right to Their Own Language: A Critical Sourcebook, Edited by Staci Perryman-Clark, David Kirkland, and Austin Jackson
  • Multimodal Composition: A Critical Sourcebook, Edited by Claire Lutkewitte
  • Writing Together: Collaboration in Theory and Practice, Edited by Andrea Lunsford and Lisa Ede
  • Writing Across the Curriculum: A Critical Sourcebook, Edited by Terry Myers Zawacki and Paul Rogers
  • Second-Language Writing in the Composition Classroom: A Critical Sourcebook, Edited by Paul Kei Matsuda, Michelle Cox, Jay Jordan, and Christina Ortmeier-Hooper
  • Writing and Community Engagement: A Critical Sourcebook, Edited by Thomas Deans, Barbara Roswell, and Adrian Wurr
  • Style in Rhetoric and Composition: A Critical Sourcebook, Edited by Paul Butler
  • Assessing Writing: A Critical Sourcebook, Edited by Brian Huot and Peggy O’Neill
  • An Open Language: Selected Writing on Literacy, Learning, and Opportunity, Edited by Mike Rose

As the new semester begins, continue to let Julie Mengert (jmengert -AT-, Steve Oakey (soakey -AT-, Katie Beth Brooks (katbb92 -AT-, Lauren Wallace (lnwallac -AT-, and me know how we can support your work with Virginia Tech first-year students.