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"Great writing begins - and ends - with the sentence."
-from the Great Courses description
Brooks Landon of the University of Iowa created a video course for The Great Courses entitled Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft. Professor Landon and I corresponded about the lessons and he gave me permission to use his material to create a small workbook based on the course, and I am using those for WRIT 101 students at Grove City College this year.
The link above will show you the contents of the video course (I encourage you to wait for a sale!), and the cover to the right is the book form of the course, available on Amazon. When I watched I had to replay early lessons several times to really follow the deep rhetorical analysis, but the magic of the course is in the sentence play Landon invites. My local high school class got a lot out of the exercises several years ago, and I want to share them with you.
You can sample one exercise in the September issue of the WRASSE Line (subscribe at www.writingassessment.com ), enroll in the "Building Great Sentences" course I am offering, or simply request the exercises (with handling fee, via the course link) if you have purchased Professor Landon's book or the video course.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Writing Assessment Services online, I am offering a $20-off coupon good through August for everyone who signs up for the WRASSE Line mailing list. Check the form at the bottom of the page at WritingAssessment.com .
Thirty-four years ago this month I was a 20yo Creative Writing graduate of Florida State University attending a summer crash course to prepare me to teach freshman composition during my graduate career. Two years later, with a fresh M.A. in General Literature Studies, I began teaching all levels of writing full time at Auburn University, and after that I married and taught a bit here and there in community colleges over the years when my children were born. Then twenty years ago this summer I began Writing Assessment Services and have worked with students from grade 5 through college and graduate school and into professional life. But most of my clients have been secondary students the last twenty years.
This fall, though, I have been asked back into the college classroom. I will be a Guest Lecturer for the Grove City College course WRIT 101: Foundations of Academic Discourse. The contract has yet to be finalized, but I passed the background check. :-) This is a very focused course for freshman writers, emphasizing critical thinking and writing for their own disparate disciplines. If you're interested in the fascinating texts we'll be using, the first written by David Hogsette, the Director of the Writing Program, please follow the links below. I'm really looking forward to this return to my teaching roots.
Never fear - I will still be available for private clients through Writing Assessment Services as long as my work load seems manageable. You might want to sign up soon. As I have expanded my work into publishing my own fiction (see RosetteBook.com ), I have also ventured into editing and related author services through Moraine's Edge Books.
Can you tell my youngest child has graduated from high school? :-)