This fall we will begin using Andrea Lunsford’s Easy Writer in all sections of English 113. I am excited for this reference book for many, many reasons.
First, I am excited because it gives the Hope College community a touchstone text for learning about and discussing writing.
The book covers a lot of ground—from writing processes to conducting research, to style, grammar, and mechanics. Its section on documentation conventions includes information on MLA style, APA style, Chicago Style, and CSE.
The book also contains other helpful features like a Quick Start Menu for different types of assignments, a checklist of the Top Twenty Tips for Editing Your Academic Writing, and a Glossary of Usage so that students can get definitive answers on those vexing questions like when to use accept or except and all ready versus already.
Second, I am excited for what this effort can mean for developing our students’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits regarding writing in their disciplines.
Our primary goal in English 113 will not necessarily be memorization of this reference text, although we certainly aim to increase students’ knowledge of language and writing. Moreso, it will be cultivating a habit of using the book to find their own answers to writing questions. In doing so, it’s my hope that students will learn the value of this book as a reference and use it to their advantage in other contexts.
Third, I am excited that we will be able to train the tutors in the Klooster Center to use the book with the students who come to see them. This alignment will increase both the effectiveness of the writing center and the book itself. We’ll be coaching the writing tutors to model using the book to find answers even if they already know the answers themselves. Again, the goal is to cultivate a habit of using the book.
Fourth, I am excited about this textbook because the most recent edition includes input from an Advisory Board for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that includes our very own Dr. Kristin VanEyk.
Finally, I am excited because I am able to provide a copy of the text to all instructors who want one thanks to the support of the Provost’s Office and the General Education Council. As the semester nears I will do my best to get these books out to the departments. Instructors are encouraged to use the books in their classes too. You may even choose to make it a required or supplemental text on your syllabus to help reinforce the use of the book across contexts, but this isn’t a requirement in any way.
As the academic year progresses you can look for information and events aimed at supporting use of the book in the classroom including blog posts and workshops. If you have any questions about using the text please don’t hesitate to let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.