Academic journal article Composition Studies

English 890: Studies in Composition and Rhetoric "Teaching Creative Writing: Theories and Practices"

Academic journal article Composition Studies

English 890: Studies in Composition and Rhetoric "Teaching Creative Writing: Theories and Practices"

Article excerpt


English 890: Studies in Composition and Rhetoric is a seminar designed for graduate students in English at the University of South Carolina, a public research university with a population of approximately 25,000 students, about 8,500 of whom are graduate students. The course counts as elective credit for MA and PhD students in English majoring in composition and rhetoric, American literature, or British literature; for MFA students majoring in creative writing; and for MAT and MT candidates in English Education. It is described in the course catalog as an intensive course on "topics selected by the instructor for specialized study" that "may be repeated for credit as topics vary."


Teaching Creative Writing: Theories and Practice


Are you a poet or fiction writer eager to share your craft with others? A composition teacher interested in expanding your courses to incorporate creative writing? Or a scholar curious about the nature of creativity and the differences between writing an academic essay and composing a poem? These are just a few of the issues we'll explore in this course.

Team-taught by a member of the creative writing faculty (Kwamc Dawes) and a member of the composition and rhetoric faculty (Christy Friend), this course will offer a broad-ranging introduction to theories, research, and methods of teaching creative writing. We've designed the course not just to prepare you to teach fiction and poetry in various settings, but also to give you an opportunity to engage in serious discussion about the larger theoretical, aesthetic, and pedagogical contexts that shape the teaching of creative writing. You'll have a chance to try out the ideas we discuss: As part of your work in the course, you'll teach one or more workshops in a classroom or community venue and reflect on that experience with your classmates.


* A course portfolio containing several projects:

1. A retrospective cover letter reflecting on and assessing your work during the semester (3-5 pages; 10% of course grade).

2. 3 short reaction papers to course readings ( 15% of course grade).

3. Short, weekly creative writing exercises ( 10% of course grade).

4. A teaching unit for a creative writing course or series of individual creative writing workshops, created with a particular venue in mind. The unit will consist of an introduction that grounds your materials in relevant theory or research; lesson plans, handouts, and other class materials; and one or more samples of student work with your comments. Note: You must actually teach your unit or a portion of your unit in a classroom or other site approved by the instructors (15-20 pages; 30% of course grade).

5. A seminar paper that engages a theoretical, pedagogical, or professional issue related to teaching creative writing (7-12 pages; 25%; of course grade).

* An informal oral presentation based on your teaching unit (20 minutes; 10% of course grade).


* Behn, Robin, and Chase Tvvichell, eds. The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach. New York: Quill, 1992.

* Bishop, Wendy, and Hans Ostrom, eds. Colors of a Different Horse: Rethinking Creative Writing Theory and Pedagogy. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1994.

* Czikszentimihalyi, Mihaly. Creativity. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

* Hugo, Richard. The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry Writing. New York: Norton, 1979.

* Koch, Kenneth. Rose, Where Did You Get That Red? Teaching Great Poetry to Children. New York: Vintage, 1990.

* Muller, Lauren, et al. june Jordan 's Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. New York: Routledge, 1996.

* Course packet of additional articles*


You'll receive a letter grade in the course, based on your course portfolio and your oral presentation. …

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