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Course Projects

Students in ENGL596 will develop the following projects.

Teaching Logs

A series of written entries focused on teaching. Your teaching log will be hosted in a shared folder in Google Drive. Develop new entries and add comments to peers' teaching logs (when prompted) by accessing the shared folder (must be logged in to your Google account). Due weekly throughout the semester.

Short Papers

Two short papers (~600 words each) that present a focused discussion of an issue raised in a class reading. The discussion should provide context from the reading while also establishing footing in the conversation (e.g., a reaction, a position with justification, etc.). Due to the Dropbox in EMU Online. Staggered deadlines will be established in class via a sign-up sheet.


Working individually or in a team of two, develop a wiki entry of approximately 500 words appropriate for the Student Resources section at the FYWP Wiki. Draft your entry in Google Drive. Include hyperlinks, as appropriate. Several open topics are already posted on the wiki (links in red), but you are welcome to suggest additional topics. Consider generating ideas by referring to the resources pages kept by other First-year Writing Programs, or poll your students to learn what resources they would like to see on the wiki. Google Drive draft due November 5; will post to the wiki by November 12.


Working in pairs, 1) observe each other's class, 2) write a brief, descriptive report in a common Google Doc, and 3) drawing on the descriptive reports, tease out two or three issues in dialogue based on what you noticed happening in the classes. Thus, the observation report will consist of three sections: Observation I (A observed B), Observation II (B observed A), and Dialogue. Peer observations should be scheduled during the weeks of September 30-October 4 or October 7-11. Observation sections I and II are due by October 15. The Dialogue section is due by October 22.

ENGL121 Materials

ENGL121 materials include a syllabus, schedule, and Project One assignment sheet for the Winter 2014 semester. Though materials may be subject to revisions before Monday, January 6, the collection should reflect careful planning and development. Include with the bundle of materials a reflective essay of approximately 3-4 pages that explains decisions you have made about ENGL121 and key insights from ENGL596 and from your first semester of teaching. Due to the EMU Online Dropbox before our scheduled conference the week of December 10-17.

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2019 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"It is our job as writers to create a context in which we can write, and it is our job as teachers of writing to create a context that is as appropriate for writing as the gym is for basketball" (228). Donald Murray, "First Silence, Then Paper," Fforum: Essays on Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing

"[W]hat we teach our students is a consequence of what we understand writing to be" (215). Mary Lou Odom, Michael Bernard-Donals, and Stephanie Kerschbaum, "Enacting Theory: The Practicum as the Site of Invention," Don't Call It That: The Composition Practicum

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