On-Line Writing and Research Resources

International Writing Centers Association Web Site: This site contains a great deal of practical help for tutors and center managers, as well as teaching tools and links to online journals about tutoring.   The Resources for Writers coverage  is somewhat spotty, with some splendidly odd and somewhat useful links, like this one to a rhyming dictionary, and this somewhat more practical U. Wisconsin page containing links to instructions for MLA Style in-text citations and Works Cited pages. 

The Linguist List Web Site:   This site organizes a vast array of informal discussion by linguists of the way languages are learned, taught, structured and studied, as well as some professional scholarship on the subject.  It also hosts discussions which include comments from some random citizens who are attracted there by the unlikely political crises into which the linguists plunge with great grit and pluck, though they insist upon using evidence and logic and scholarly methods when it's clear that the crisis is occurring because the parties involved do not use of respect any of those things very much.  For annotated bibliographies, stick to the scholarly articles, but the rest can be a great source of primary source information depending on your research interests.

JAC (formerly, The Journal of Academic Composition, now an online "peer-reviewed journal publishing theoretical articles on a variety of topics related to rhetoric, writing, multiple literacies, and the politics of education."  This online journal is pay-per-view for the most recent three years' issues, but you can tap a wide range of interesting and useful articles for the period (this year - 3 and earlier) by searching the archives and the reviews. (The practice is called a "moving wall" in online publishing where it allows free scholarly access to work deemed no longer urgent or timely but still of value to the researcher, thus protecting the intellectual labors of the authors and publishers--see the library's JSTOR database for another example to which we do subscribe.)  The journal is supported by Georgia State University and staffed by faculty from Georgia State and University of South Florida.  Their editorial board (listed in "About JAC") contains a strong group of major scholars, many of whom you will read this semester.

Virginia Tech University's Brief Annotated Bibliography of Composition Theory.  This site contains one-paragraph summary annotations of works by contemporary composition researchers.  Many of the authors of the articles surveyed will be familiar to you, and the summaries are generally accurate, though none is assigned authorship.  These appear to have been prepared by students training to work in the VT Writing Center.  You may find them helpful when searching for articles to annotate for the 221 bibliographic annotation project--they give you just enough to know whether you want to go after the whole article, and because they're all on one big web page, they're searchable for keywords and author names via the "Control+F" command.

Writing Literary Criticism and Understanding Interpretive Theory:  This collection of sites will answer questions about terms used in literary analysis, and it will provide explanations of theories of literary interpretation.

English 215: Critical Methods: This web site was created to support the Spring 2001 sections of the English Department's methods course, required of all English Majors and Minors, as it was taught by Mary Marchand and Arnie Sanders.   It contains some off-site links to literary criticism that also are found in the page above, but it also contains unique materials created to explain classical interpretive theory, structuralism, reader-response theory, semiotics, and deconstruction.   Students taking English 215 in later semesters with other English Department instructors may find the site useful, but they should not expect its syllabus to reflect their semester's course structure or the theories their instructor will emphasize.   Though there is loose consensus about what theories generally have been considered "dominant" in the history of criticism, individual instructors who are called upon to teach practical critical methods will have to choose a relatively small number of the available theories for careful consideration. 

Free Online Grammar and Punctuation Tutorials: These web sites will help you teach yourself grammar and punctuation conventions that will improve your prose.  They all offer explanations with examples, as well as interactive quizzes that will help you test your knowledge.  You can just dive in and start from the beginning, but if you're on a tight schedule, spend some time first diagnosing what your most common errors are and what might be causing them.  For help, consult your past papers with teachers' comments, talk to a Writing Center tutor, and consult the checklist of terms on the web link above.

Printed Writing and Teaching Resources in VM 107:  These books and articles have been placed in the part- and half-time instructors' office in Van Meter 107 for the use of Writing Program faculty.  Other Goucher faculty, Writing Center tutors, and students in English 221 may use them, as well, but all who take them from the room should be sure to sign them out on the sheet attached to their shelf.  That will help us to recover them.