• Sharing The Big Read with Students

      Maybe you remember the first Big Read from 2012: Moby Dick, 135 chapters in 135 days, a radio extravaganza dreamed up by Philip Hoare and Angela Cockayne; read by the likes of Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, Mary ...
    Andrea A. Lunsford
    last modified by Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Some Things Haven’t Changed: Our Relationships with Our Students Are Still Paramount

    Photo with computer and garden by April Lidinsky   While many of us have hobbled through the spring semester, there is no rest for the weary, it seems. I hope you are all taking socially distanced and masked wal...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • The Trauma to Come

    As I write this, states are beginning to reopen. And yet there remains an almost universal sense that this pandemic is far from over. And behind even that, in the shadowy crevices of so many psyches, I sense we also k...
    Barclay Barrios
    last modified by Barclay Barrios
  • The Politics of the Pandemic

      For my last blog of the 2019-2020 Bits blogging year, I wish to return to the cataclysmic event in which we are all, unhappily and reluctantly, participating. This is history, and while, unfortunately, what we...
    Jack Solomon
    last modified by Jack Solomon
  • Using a New Corpus for Student Searches

      Inspired by the work of Laura Aull, I’ve been introducing students to corpora as a way to find information about writing in various disciplines—they can, for example, easily check whether profession...
    Andrea A. Lunsford
    last modified by Andrea A. Lunsford
  • A Soundwriting Pedagogical Framework for Teaching Rhetoric

    Today’s guest blogger is Tanya Rodrigue, an associate professor in English and coordinator of the Writing Intensive Curriculum Program at Salem State University in Massachusetts.   Several years ...
    Guest Blogger
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  • The Rhetoric of Public Health Reports and Press Briefings

      Amid the daily reports of admissions to hospitals, of numbers intubated or in ICUs, and of the unthinkable roll call of deaths, I’ve felt almost numb with grief. And with anger, too, as I see how many ar...
    Andrea A. Lunsford
    last modified by Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Rethinking Turkle: Conversation and Coronavirus

      When I was putting together the 4th edition of Emerging, Sherry Turkle’s “Empathy Diaries,” the introduction to her 2015 book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, seem...
    Barclay Barrios
    last modified by Barclay Barrios
  • The Medium is the Market: The Semiotics of Popular Storytelling

      While trying to think of something other than the pandemic to write about for this blog (all pandemic, all the time is not a good formula for either writing or mental health), I found myself rereading Robert L...
    Jack Solomon
    last modified by Jack Solomon
  • Tips for Looking Your Best in Video Classrooms

      Before the pandemic, I had never heard of Zoom. What a difference a couple of months can make! Now, like most of you, I find myself “zooming” on a daily basis: Boards I serve on meet via Zoom; comm...
    Andrea A. Lunsford
    last modified by Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Post-Pandemic Grading: Let’s Not Return to “Normal”

      We have reached the arc in the pandemic when we are testing the waters of returning to “normal.” At the same time, we are holding conversations about why “normal” is the wrong destinati...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Poetic Rhetoric: An Interview with Wesley Dunning

    Wesley Dunning teaches writing at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. His work appears in Blueline, Gravel Magazine, and others. What follows is a recent conversation I had with him: &...
    David Starkey
    last modified by David Starkey
  • “We” in Teacher Feedback: Reflecting on our Feedback Voices

    For the past few months, I have been analyzing the feedback I gave first-year composition students during the spring 2019 semester—looking for patterns in my lexical choices, references, and syntax. Student prog...
    Miriam Moore
    last modified by Miriam Moore
  • Grammar Girl & Ideas for Teaching Online

      This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.     Grammar Girl podcasts can be smoothly integra...
    Grammar Girl
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  • Teaching (and Recording) Oral Histories During a Pandemic

      Listening, as I do almost every week, to StoryCorps on NPR, I have been struck by how quickly that organization has adapted to the new pandemic conditions, shifting from two people face to face in a booth reco...
    Andrea A. Lunsford
    last modified by Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Morgellons-19: Empathy and Epidemics

    Morgellons, the controversial disease at the heart of Leslie Jamison’s essay “Devil’s Bait,” differs from COVID-19 in significant ways. And yet Jamison’s central question seems usefully r...
    Barclay Barrios
    last modified by Barclay Barrios
  • No Exceptions: or the End of a Mythology

      One of the key principles of Signs of Life in the U.S.A. is the critical role that cultural mythologies play in shaping human consciousness and the way we experience our world. So, as we face a pandemic disease...
    Jack Solomon
    last modified by Jack Solomon
  • Semiotics in the Time of a Plague

    Feeling like I have been unwillingly dropped into a Camus novel (The Plague) or famous diary (Pepys's will do), I find writing this blog to be a very strange experience. The thing is, in spite of multiple reasons to b...
    Jack Solomon
    last modified by Jack Solomon
  • Keeping Calm and Carrying On

      Well, I'm trying at any rate. Right now that means moving along with the 10th edition of Signs of Life in the U.S.A. We're in the copyediting stage, which can be (and is being) conducted entirely through digit...
    Jack Solomon
    last modified by Jack Solomon
  • Teaching, Writing, and Quarantine: This is a Mess

    It’s Easter Sunday, it’s raining, and I’ve been in my house for almost a month. I was hoping this blog post would come together quickly, that I would have some technical trick or insightful advice to...
    Miriam Moore
    last modified by Miriam Moore