The Printing Press

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The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose it to inform major and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact macarlson@monm.edu or astone@monm.edu
 

Features

A Program with Purpose

by Anne Stone

 

 

College is the time when a person decides what profession to pursue.  While there are an infinite number of professions with a wide variety of professional skills involved, there is one skill that every employer values: communication skills.  On the Monmouth College campus, there is a program dedicated to helping every student gain these communication skills.  Communication Across the Curriculum, also known as CAC, gives students the resources they will need long after their time at Monmouth College has passed.

            Dr. Steve Price, the head of CAC, is neither a member of the English Department faculty nor the Communications Department faculty.  He teaches a wide variety of classes within both academic departments, and has an academic and professional background that speaks volumes for the tremendous success of the program.  Dr. Price was and undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, and upon graduation taught at a high school for three years.  He received his graduate degree from Arizona State University, and his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.  His first collegiate position was at Mississippi College, where he was the English Department Chair.  He has had a lot of experience with writing and communication through his professional encounters as well as his vast academic career, and he has definitely showed his talent and dedication here at Monmouth.

            CAC is more than just a resource for students after Monmouth College.  The Writing Center, located in Mellinger Learning Centerís third level, provides students of any age or major assistance with course writing assignments.  Student tutors are required to take a semester long course, English 299, in order to qualify for the tutoring position.  Similarly, speech tutors are available in Wallace Hallís third floor by appointment.  These tutors listen to studentsí speech assignments, and provide useful feedback.  A new program, Writing Partners, delivers tutors to ILA classes.  Two tutors are assigned to an ILA section, and they meet individually with students for tutoring sessions.  This semester has been a very successful one with positive feedback from both professors and students on these services.  Because of Communication Across the Curriculum and its programs, students have an easier time attaining the skills and resources theyíll need to be successful now and in the future. 

 

For more about the new Writing Partners Program, visit:

 

             

Helpful Writing Tips

 By Megan Carlson

            As the semester comes to a close, homework opens its doors and lets in all the light.  It rushes in blinding us by the sheer amount of rays that constantly beats on our tired eyes.  This could be a somewhat drastic analogy, but homework has taken over our lives.  If there is not a long reading assignment to be read by the next day, there is a five page paper glaring at us on our desks.  Since it is almost December, it always seems that I start to slow down just as the semester is picking up.  This week in my English classes I received a refresher on writing and especially on how to present an interesting and provocative idea.  I thought that I would share this inspired session with you.  Hopefully this will be productive for you and remind you that it is possible to write good papers, even when the end is near!

            Dr. Watson presented his Modern American Drama class with an email on how to write a great thesis statement.  After discussing this email with a few classmates, I realized that this email truly helped us to look at our writing and make it better.  This is the email that was sent:

 A good thesis first involves an attitude: a sense of intrigue, involvement, risk-taking, a certain bravado, even arrogance (I know something really important about this play that no one else does, and Iím not only going to show you that Iím right, Iím going to knock your socks off doing it).  Henry James aspired to be that person upon whom nothing is lost.  Arrogant, certainly, but implied in the statement is also humble dedication to an ideal of intelligence and excellence.

 A thesis is an arguable assertion that in this case is also a deep insight, an interpretive diamond.   Or imagine the good thesis as a chariot youíre trying to drive, whose horses are almost beyond your power to control.  What a ride!  Slow and safe are not options, nor are they much fun.  Complicate your life, up the ante.  Take a risk, Surprise yourself.  Pull it off.

 Ok.  Thatís attitude.  Now, pre-writing rules.  Mine the text for ideas; turn over your prospective thesis as if it were a fifty carrot yellow diamond held to the light; you want to cut, polish every facet of the stone, every nuanced possibility of meaning.   

AND then you want to find evidence that, in your hands, stunningly convinces. 

 You are writing the essay not because you have to, but because, since you have to, you might as well be brilliant.

        To further our exploration into better writing as English majors and minors, Shane Connaughton suggests how you should get your brilliant ideas.  He wrote the screenplay for My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown, which received an Oscar nomination.  He also won the Hennessy award for Irish fiction in 1985. 

 Use your eyes and ears everywhere you go. Look. Listen. Go to the theatre. Learn how actors work. Write about something that moves you. Then you might move the world. Remember the Trojan War was a parochial affair. A squabble over cattle and maybe a woman. In other words, everything you need for a good story is right there in your village or town. Right under your noseÖ which makes it hard to see sometimes."

Shane Connaughton Shane Connaughton

       Writing is a struggle, but it is always helpful to receive inspired words by those who are influential in the literary world.  Now, go out there and write the best thesis statements and papers Monmouth College has yet to see!

This link can take you to other famous writers and their tips.

 www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/arts/features/howtowrite/index.shtml - 23k -  

 

 

 

Quotes on Writing and Communication

"There is more than a verbal tie between the words common, community, and communication.... Try the experiment of communicating, with fullness and accuracy, some experience to another, especially if it be somewhat complicated, and you will find your own attitude toward your experience changing." -John Dewey

John Dewey

"If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur." -Doug Larson

Sorry, but there is no picture of Doug Larson.

 

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."  ~Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
 

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say."  ~AnaÔs Nin 

Anais Nin

"A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare.  For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure."  ~Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

 
 
 

 

 

Writing Labs 3:00-5:00 pm Monday - Thursday
  7:00-10:00 pm Sunday - Thursday

Megan Carlson
macarlson@monm.edu

Anne Stone
astone@monm.edu


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