Speaking of Writing is a graphic guide to college writing. Informed by recent and enduring scholarship in Writing Studies, this brief rhetoric follows four college students from diverse backgrounds as they face the challenges of reading, writing, and critical thinking in first-year writing and across the disciplines. Each chapter engages students in relatable, often humorous scenarios that focus on key challenges: understanding rhetoric, argument, and genre; working collaboratively with peers and tutors; finding and evaluating sources; and planning, drafting and revising diverse kinds of academic writing, including literacy narratives, analyses of texts and images, op / eds, thesis-based essays, longer research papers, and multi-modal presentations.
Through its story-based approach, Speaking of Writing enacts student-centered and process-based pedagogy, showing students learning to address fundamental questions: How can I apply my own strategies for success to new assignments? How can I maintain my own voice when asked to compose in an academic style? What do college professors mean by a “thesis,” and how is this different from what my high school teachers meant? Why is this argument weak and how can I make it stronger? The narrative dramatizes a draft and revision process that includes instructor feedback, peer review, and careful research.
Can a writing textbook inform and entertain? Can a very brief rhetoric also function as a stand-alone guide to college writing? Yes and yes. Speaking of Writing is a concise yet comprehensive rhetoric with readings, presenting ample material for in-class discussion and activities, as well as longer projects.