For Instructors


The course design is based on the notion of interactivity between specific cognitive processes and writing. That is, it recognizes consistencies between rhetorical strategies found in thinking, writing, and mass media, both print and non-print. It also assumes that instructors can capitalize on these consistencies in crafting lesson plans for students at various levels of proficiency in the English language. Therefore, the resource materials included here are designed so that instructors and students can employ various strategies in researching and writing about current events. It is also assumed that experience in this course will transfer over into the skill of writing specific types of essays in disciplines throughout the academy.

Students learn to compose the following type essays: problem/solution, comparison/contrast, cause/effect and the literary analysis essay. Each unit contains: readings, videos, worksheets, assignment descriptions and unit schedules. Students examine various rhetorical modes in print and non-print media and discuss their discoveries in class. The units also facilitate students as they work through the classic stages of the writing process: brainstorming, collaborating, outlining, drafting, revising and proofreading. Classroom activities include small group as well as large group discussions. The final literary analysis essay provides the opportunity for students to apply learning from earlier assignments to construct a review of a short story.

The worksheets are designed to maximize student participation in the small and large group collaborations. The videos might have  the most impact if students view them and complete related worksheets prior to class. They can then be replayed, followed  by whole class discussion.

For more information on the above approaches to teaching writing, see:

Barsam, Richard, “Non-Fiction Film as Composition” in Images and Words: Using Film to Teach Writing, in Spieberger, 19-26.

Constanzo, William V., “Visual Thinking in the Writing Class” in Spielberger, 69-78.

George, Diana, “From Analysis to Design: Visual Communication in the Teaching of Writing”, College Composition and Communication, 2002.

Graham, S. and K.R. Harris, in Graham, Handbook of Writing Research..

Graham, S. and K. R. Harris, “Strategy Instruction and the Teaching of Writing” in Handbook of Writing Research, 2006, 187-209 and Handbook of Writing Research, Second Editioin, edited by Charles MacArthur, Steve Graham and Jill Fitzgerald (New York: Guilford Press, October 13, 2016).

Hill, Charles, “Reading the Visual in College Writing Classes” in Itertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms, edtied by Helmeos, Mahwan, and N.I. Lawrence, (Ehrbam Associates, 2003).

Ismaili, Merita, “The Effectiveness of Using Movies in the EFL Classroom – A Study Conducted at South East European University Academic”, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Volume 2, #4, 2013, ISSN 2281 3993.

Kasper, Loretta, “The Imagery of Rhetoric: Film and Academic Writing in the Discipline ESL Course”, National Council of Teachers of English, Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Vol. 28, Issue #1, 52-59, September, 2000.

Seferoglu, Golge, “Using Feature Films in Language Classes” Educational Studies, Vol. 34, Issue #1, 2008.

Foundational Studies

Birchett, Colleen Lucille, The Effects of Television on the Descriptive Writing of College Students” DISS U of Michigan, 1986, Pro Quest Web 19 May 2012.

Salomon, Gavriel, Interaction of Media, Cognition and Learning: An Exploration of How Symbolic Forms Cultivate Mental Skills and Affect Knowledge Acquisition, (New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994).

Spielberger, Jeffrey (ed.), Images and Words: Using Film to Teach Writing, (New York: CUNY 1985).

Vygotsky, L.S. Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, (Cambridge,M.A.: Harvard U. Press, 1976).