My Developmental English/Writing textbook—Writers Under Construction—covers grammar and composition from the paragraph to five-paragraph essay, making it a text for more than one developmental course as it has reached eight chapters and about 400 pages. Some model essays ramble past the typical 300-500 word/five-paragraph range of Developmental English, so those could be used for College Composition. There are chapter sections on Spanish and Psychological Type Theory–mostly in the Appendix, revealing this textbook’s holistic concern for the beginning remedial college student. Various annotated link pages provide greater depth for the students than any one textbook. Furthermore, there’s an African-American Studies chapter–the product of having taught full-time for five years at an HBCU. Thus, Writers Under Construction could be especially marketable for Black Colleges. The textbook has always been visually attractive with tables and use of bold-facing, italics, and contrasting fonts—Arial within the text and more exotic fonts for chapter section titles and sections. The importance of prewriting shows through multiple techniques and outlines in three chapters. It’s multicultural and student-friendly with model essays on sports, restaurants, music, and more—including edited student essays. This textbook is copyrighted with the Library of Congress (TXu001680279), and it is in its ninth edition since its beginnings in the late 90’s. Writers Under Construction is now illustrated with flickr photos, a branch of Yahoo. Attribution Only, the most liberal listing in Creative Commons copyrights laws, forms the vast majority of the photo rights.
This two-page table has links that go to twenty previously copyrighted chapter sections published as articles from my Developmental English textbook https://www.academia.edu/8288186/Table_for_Chapter_Sections_Published_Elsewhere_After_the_Demise_of_Voices.Yahoo I began to illustrate my textbook after copyrighting it. This article had to be revised after the demise of Voices.yahoo in July 2014; it was formerly known as Associated Content. I kept the description of the old composite chapter while providing a link to the preserved articles–kinda weird.
The reader could view this work as a composite chapter while realizing I chose some of these chapter sections for their citizen journalism value more than being the core of my textbook. In fact, some of these chapter sections would be human interest stories. The original goal of publishing the entire large, multi-course textbook is perhaps antiquated in the new publishing era heavy on e-books, online learning, and above all–lower cost.
Here’s an article, originally published at HubPages, which explains my rationale for model essay choice. It’s grounded in the sustainability theories of Derek Owens of St. John’s University http://www.academia.edu/1520747/College_Composition_Topics_Give_Regional_Topics_a_ChanceIn other words, let kids write about meaningful aspects of their environment.
The Preface contains annotated link pages for the student, teacher,and administrator–a great way to branch beyond the confines of a textbook. “English Grammar & Writing Annotated link Page”is found here at Academia.edu. It includes a link to the THEA Writing Practice exam, audience considerations from the NCTE Day on Writing, and nine more sites. Published at Yahoo.Voices is “GED Practice Exams and More.” GED instruction and Developmental Education are close relatives.
There are only two Grammar chapter sections published as articles so far: (1) The Eight Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement and (2) The Big Four Clusters of Commonly Confused Words; both articles include quizzes with the answer keys and sample sentences. The former article was published at Connexions of Rice University while the later article was published for Lesson Plans Page. The SV-A article draws some influence from the famous Guide to Grammar and Writing site at Capital Community College of Hartford, Connecticut. It’s divided into two halves to prevent tedium. Along with the first two modules for Connexions the Subject-Verb Agreement module traveled across Houston to a lens set up at Connexions for the Houston Community College. The SV-A article is at a few other sites too, mainly through Creative Commons copyright sharing, including The Apple. . Now the SV-A Module has become the most popular article at my Academia.edu website, and it has lots of reads from The Philippines.
“The Big Four CCW’s” offers a different style of grouping: contractions,possession, one spelling/two meanings, and etc. I felt a cluster such as “your,their, and its,” would be easier to remember than the traditional grouping by sound-alike spelling. Furthermore, the Big Four CCW’s is a great first week lesson, especially if some students haven’t bought their textbooks yet.
The Introduction to Writing chapter is a composite type of chapter anyway: narrative, process, restaurant, and other English skills. That chapter has four sections elsewhere: (1) Jabon Cacahuananche: A Mexican Soap to Reduce Hair Oiliness, Narrative; (2) How to Use Flickr Photo Sharing and Creative Commons—Process; (3) Taquerias for Dummies–Restaurant; and (4) Applying Psychological Type Theory to Writing, Other English Skills.
“Jabon Cacahuananche”is a narrative that became my most popular article out of 30-something publications at Voices.yahoo(formerly Associated Content) with well over 4000 views! The plant for this soap also comes in a shampoo. Here are the instructions for its use. Scrub the top of your greasy,balding head. Then let it sit a while, like Clearasil ointment. Then wash out the Cacahuananche before shampooing as normal. This article became one of many published at other sites through copyright sharing by corporate partners.
“How to Use Flickr Photo Sharing and Creative Commons“ is about how to illustrate one’s writings through another branch of yahoo: flickr, and it’s one of two new articles written for the ninth textbook edition. This Voices.yahoo entry tells about Creative Commons copyright sharing. This is an updated version of an earlier article that gives more attention to Creative Commons copyright sharing and less to examples of my use of flickr illustration. Attribution Only is the best; all you have to do is copy/paste the URL under the photo.
“Taquerias for Dummies” is an updated version of an older article,complete with Flickr photos, at the local Piney Woods Live.It describes several of the most common foods at taquerias —stew meats in soft tortillas. Restaurant/food related chapter sections are scattered in the Introduction to Writing and Descriptive chapters. Since my beginnings in teaching Developmental English, I’ve felt that restaurants provide a great topic for students because one can rely on all their senses for the essay. Furthermore, weekend inserts in city newspapers and entire TV channels cover our love of fine dining.
“Applying Psychological Type Theory to Writing,” at Connexions takes the students step-by-step through temperaments and preferences before the culminating article by Dr. Karyn Hollis of Villanova, listing writing styles with strengths and weaknesses by personality profile. A student can click a link to the Jung Typology Test, which is free. Although less prestigious than the Myers-Briggs or Keirsey, it would be welcome by a cash-strapped student who may be shy about seeing a counselor. Thus I reveal a hidden agenda for this lesson—self-help chances besides psychological insight for writing, also because of the tragic 1527:1 ratio of students to counselors at community colleges. An annotated link page on Psychological Type Theory follows this article.
Later after the tragic Gabby Giffords at Tucson shooting, I wrote a more general spinoff article.”Psychological Type Theory: Could Spreading the Word Improve the Nation’s Mental Health?”http://www.articlesbase.com/psychology-articles/psychological- type-theory- could-spreading-the-word-improve-mental-health-4230079.html
There are three chapters from the Descriptive Chapter in “Elsewhere”: (1)”Prewriting Tips for the Five-Paragraph Essay: Going from the Outline to Rough Draft While Watching your Time,” (2) “A Favorite Hobby: Free-Lance Internet Journalism,”and (3) “Vietnamese Dinners In East Dallas.”
“Prewriting Tips for the Five-Paragraph Essay” became my second most popular article at AC. It was actually based on two shorter articles, and the free-lance internet journalism article filled in that gap in the Descriptive chapter. Perhaps the main advice from the prewriting chapter section is to write every other line or two out of three lines and number the sentences in your rough draft. The “every other line” aspect of that tip was from my junior Technical Writing professor, and I view that moment as the turning point in my writing career. Here’s a way to watch your time: Divide the number of lines completed on your essay by the minutes in the timed exam; multiply that ratio by 100, and you have a percentage.
“A Favorite Hobby: Free-Lance Internet Journalism” is about writing for citizen journalism websites, such as Associated Content(Voices.Yahoo).It rambled long enough to be considered a College Composition essay. Stumbleupon was an early favorite of mine before I became devoted to Twitter (@bohemiotx). At Stumbleupon, you recommend journal articles and write a brief review. Tags tell your subjects. This essay mentions many of the articles that I published elsewhere and serves a similar function to this essay—only it’s older and discusses articles that were not in my textbook. This article was structured in a time order. It’s the definitive example of an essay one could keep revising forever; look at such articles as a snapshot.
“Vietnamese Dinners in East Dallas” was based on the prompt, “Write about a custom from another culture with which you are familiar.” I was substituting in a College Composition course and provided a model essay for the students. I focused on pho+? –a stew that’s the national dish of Vietnam. It’s slow cooked with thin rice noodles and has fresh vegetables dropped on top, together with a variety of sauces. We often sang along with Vietnamese karaoke videos after dinner, and I learned how to pronounce their language:Indo-European letters with diacritical marks. This became a human-interest story in the Descriptive chapter, and it’s the only article I’ve published for Asian Correspondent so far.
The Persuasive Chapter has four sections published elsewhere—all but one at Voices. Yahoo: (1) “Reflections: What has Humbled, Impressed, and Sobered You About this Semester in Junior College?” (2) “Coming to God as a Child to a Parent,” The 2005 J.C. Watts Founders’ Day Convocation at Texas College,” (3) How to Write About a Music Recording, and (4)”Bruce Dickinson: The Many Careers of the Singer for Iron Maiden–A Historically Underutilized Bohemian Intellectual (a Biographical Sketch)”
The first is actually the newest, and it’s based on President Barack Obama’s response to the reporter Jeff Zeleny’s question, “What has humbled, impressed, and sobered you about the your first 100 days as the president of the United States?” For the students, I changed the scenario to this semester in junior college. For my model essay, I wrote about the joys and challenges in writing a textbook for Developmental English and writing citizen journalism. It included a salute to my mentor, the late Lew Sayers of Mountain View Community College. Lew wrote a textbook for his course before I began going beyond a couple of model essays. I published this article at Lesson Plans Page.com Despite the complicated prompt question for the then-new President and my writing tales, it was an easy prompt for students to relate with.
Another human interest story turned article came from my notes on a 2005 convocation address at Texas College by former Oklahoma Republican congressman, J.C. Watts that could be subtitled, “How to be Born Again.” Mr. Watts achieved fame as a Wishbone QB for the Oklahoma Sooners—leading them to victory in the Orange Bowl before a pro career in Canada. Mr. Watts had an “aha” moment when his young son asked him to fix a burst balloon. That’s what our relationship with God should be like. Furthermore, the congressman noted that God has lost us when we become an unforgiving enemy. That indicates interfaith ramifications to me; maybe Mr. Watts would disagree. He is now the president of his own economic development company—truly a remarkable success story. This religious essay may appear too conservative for many settings, the opposite of my usual leanings. Yet reporting news on a perennial issue in American culture should take precedence over political correctness. Moreover, there is no shortage of private colleges backed by a religious denomination.
“How to Write About a Music Recording,” is an oldie from my early Developmental English/Writing teaching days at Mountain View Community College in Oak Cliff that I sent to Voices.yahoo. This five-paragraph essay’s three body paragraphs should take this form: (1) generalize about the CD, (2) Specify a few favorite songs, and (3) Describe a few unusual songs. Grammatically, this how-to-do-it music essay provides the opportunity for the students to apply their knowledge of quotation marks, italics, and even ellipses if one doesn’t want to cite an entire selection. For example, cite the band’s name like a regular proper noun but italicize (or underline) the CD title, and list specific song titles within quotation marks. I urge the students to defend the music they love and make references to several song selections from a variety of genres. This model essay could be used in College Composition or appear in a music unit for writing.
“Bruce Dickinson: The Many Careers of the Singer for Iron Maiden–A Historically Underutilized Bohemian Intellectual (a Biographical Sketch)” is a human interest story that could be part of a music unit also. Dickinson flies jets for a British airliner and the Iron Maiden touring jet. Early in life, he was a pilot in the British Air Force. Dickinson is a top-rated fencer who owns a fencing equipment company. Dickinson has also been a radio-talk show host and has hosted education specials on BBC. He has had all these fascinating careers while keeping his main one: lead singer for Iron Maiden,one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. The whimsical title is a play on the term “Historically Underutilized Businesses,” which classifies predominantly minority and female owned businesses in the United States. This article may defy traditional labeling of tales of modern musicians as liberal because most of Dickinson’s careers have been quite orthodox, such as Air Force and commercial jet pilot.
The African-American Studies chapter has two sections published at Connexions of Rice University. The first article at Rice is entitled, “Questions and Answers for The Atlanta Exposition Address by Booker T. Washington.” A link goes to the transcript of the speech at George Mason University. Maybe providing questions and answers for a famous speech is innovative!
The second article is one of the newest of this “Elsewhere” collection: “Summary and Reflections on Kwanzaa.” It’s based on my four presentations and three publications. I didn’t want a bunch of Kwanzaa literature to overwhelm my African-American Studies chapter. Yet at the same time I wanted to offer a case for popularizing Kwanzaa. I saluted hometown city planning efforts and noted that Faith night always has a prominent minister doing the address. The anti-Christian stereotype of Kwanzaa is undoubtedly the biggest misconception of the seven-night festival.
The Appendix has two sections published: “Introduction to Spanish Tutorial at Northeast Texas Virtual Library” at Voices.yahoo and”Developmental English Multiple-Choice (50 Questions) Final” at Teachers-Pay-Teachers. While at Texas College, I tutored Spanish at Texas College and developed the first section on my McGraw-Hill Pageout website on the language. It’s a mix of quick links to huge sites, annotated link pages, and original essays. A preface became necessary to help with the lengthy table of contents. The article discusses some of the highlights from the annotated link pages along with the links to mega-sites. Now you can find a link to my Pageout site at my new website through Academia.edu. The final exam at Teachers-Pay-Teachers covers major rules in grammar–such as subject-verb agreement, run-ons, fragments, and irregular verbs. Writing conventions on matters such as the features of a good paragraph are covered too. This lesson was the free first article.
To summarize, consider Writers Under Construction for a unique alternative to other Developmental English textbooks. It covers the material thoroughly while remaining student-friendly and multicultural. Its visual attractiveness includes font design and flickr illustrations. Appendix sections include Spanish and Psychological Type Theory, reflecting a holistic concern for the beginning remedial student, Annotated link pages and connections to my websites extend the reader beyond any one textbook.