E607A – Teaching Writing: Composition and Rhetoric

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Prerequisite: English Department teaching assistantship in composition.

Description:  E607A is designed to give new teaching assistants in composition an opportunity to become thoroughly acquainted with the CO150 syllabus and with the current theories and practices in teaching college composition. In the class students read and respond to theoretical articles about teaching writing and the basics of good writing; study the writing process; discuss a variety of teaching approaches, techniques, and exercises; design assignments and workshops; practice responding to and evaluating student writing; and prepare and present sample class activities. E607A students also anticipate common problems in the composition classroom and then discuss ways to solve them by trading ideas and suggestions with their fellow classmates. As part of the E607A course, students must also audit a section of CO150 taught by a lecturer in the composition program. Notes on the observation of this class, recorded in a problem-solving journal, provide numerous topics for discussion in E607A class. In addition to E607A class itself and the CO150 audit, new teaching assistants must attend bi-weekly PIE meetings with the composition staff and second-year GTAs; these meetings often present guest speakers on such topics as classroom dynamics, teaching in the computer classroom, or the growing plagiarism problem, and they provide another opportunity for GTAs to share useful teaching materials, common concerns, and success stories.