Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Miner Room

$25 (per workshop)

The two Wednesday Workshops are optional but offer another opportunity to explore and discuss Rhetoric & Writing Studies.


Those interested in attending one or both of the workshops can register for the workshop(s) on the conference's Registration Page.

Morning Workshop

9:00 AM- Noon

Mentoring High-Impact Undergraduate Research

Excellent mentoring can transform undergraduate research into a high-impact educational practice. What are the most effective ways, though, to foster inquiry, engage students with research methods, and help undergraduate researchers share their results? Drawing from multi-institutional studies, interviews with undergraduate researchers, and the CCCC Position Statement on Undergraduate Research in Writing, this interactive workshop examines best practices for mentoring writing and rhetoric majors throughout the research process. Workshop participants will explore how to adapt the identified strategies for both co-curricular undergraduate research and course-based undergraduate research experiences embedded in a major's curriculum.


Jessie L. Moore is director of the Center for Engaged Learning and associate professor of English: Professional Writing & Rhetoric at Elon University. She coordinates the Center's research seminars, which support multi-institutional inquiry on high-impact pedagogies - including mentored undergraduate research. Jessie initiated and leads the planning team for the CCCC Undergraduate Researcher Poster Session, which showcases undergraduate research in writing and rhetoric, and she regularly serves as a mentor at the Naylor Workshop for Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies. Her recent research examines transfer of writing knowledge and practices, the writing lives of university students, and high-impact pedagogies.  

Afternoon Workshop

1:00 - 4:00 PM

Rethinking the “Service” Course: Curriculum and Identity

PDF file

As independent rhetoric and writing programs continue to emerge and flourish, the notion of the “service” course is ripe for reconsideration.


This workshop explores ways in which courses that have traditionally been seen as providing service to the university may be rethought, reconfigured, and repositioned within undergraduate rhetoric and writing programs. Specifically, we will consider two intertwined aspects of practice: curriculum revision and programmatic identity. Participants will explore these concerns relative to their own institutional contexts. Participants will explore these concerns relative to their own institutional contexts, by asking:


  • Which courses are currently seen as (or taught as) “service” courses?

    • What aspects of their institutional history must be considered in order to:

      • take advantage of or transcend the “service” label?

      • develop into more robust offerings that meet current and future departmental needs?


  • How are these courses relationally configured to the rest of the curriculum?

    • How, in other words, do they fit within a program’s vertical curriculum? How do they lead into, build on, or enhance theoretical and practical knowledges developed in other courses?


  • To whom is the program beholden relative to their current “service” courses, and what does that mean, in practical terms (e.g., teaching assignments, assessment, interdisciplinarity, etc.)?


  • Are current “service” courses intellectually interesting for instructors? If not, how might they be revised so that they challenge and delight students and instructors alike?


  • Are existing “service” courses part and parcel of the program’s intellectual mission and identity?


  • What do your “service” courses say about you, across the campus and in the community?

This workshop will be a hands-on experience facilitated in a manner similar to the 2017 CCCC Think Tank sessions. By working through questions and answers about vertical curricula and programmatic identity, participants will learn from each other, collaboratively building toward new conceptions of the “service” course. Indeed, one aim will be to leave the scare quotes behind—to move beyond the notion of a service course altogether . . . .


Brian McNely is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky. He writes about research methodologies and methods, and teaches courses in technical communication, research methods, and rhetorical theory.

Randall W. Monty is the Associate Director of the Writing Center and an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Composition, & Literacy Studies in the Department of Writing & Language Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He teaches, writes, and researches critical discourse studies, interdisciplinary and technical writing, and border studies.