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Notebook and Pen

Teaching writing

I see writing as a key aspect of a liberal-arts education, and I have included explicit instruction in writing as a part of my literature classes from my earliest days in the classroom. Formal analytical papers are a chance to help students wrestle with the course’s or a text’s main problems, while helping to improve their writing skills (a key transferable skill of a liberal-arts education!).


First and foremost, I seek to teach students that writing is a process, a way of working with and synthesizing information, rather than a one-time event. 

Analytical papers:

  • feature detailed, explicit prompts

  • undergo peer review and/or a draft process

  • receive detailed feedback focused on improving writing skills, featuring both holistic feedback and a detailed rubric.


I also utilize explicit instruction on elements of the writing process. For example, here is an exercise on the “quotation sandwich” (adapted from materials by

Short, low-stakes assignments, geared toward structuring in-class discussion, include first-reaction written responses, discussion posts answering a guided topic, or requests to find and pot a particular kind of information. 


Click on relevant syllabi below. See links to the left for info on teaching exercises.

War as/beyond Metaphor

Discourses of/on Love

Rebels, Heroes, Iconoclasts, Icons

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