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This podcast talks about ways post-secondary instructors in all disciplines can help their students and themselves become better writers.
Of the many kinds of writing done at work, writing short reports to update others about our work must rank high on the list of important and frequent documents written. This episode describes how to write these reports well.
How do you write a good proposal? This episode, based on Chapter 10 of Business Communication: Rhetorical Situations, describes how to prepare both solicited and unsolicited proposals.
How can you write messages that will persuade your readers to adopt your point of view or proposed action? This episode, based on Chapter 9 of Business Communication: Rhetorical Situations (broadview.com), describes how to organize both direct request messages as well as problem-solving messages--the two main varieties of persuasive messages.…
How can you deliver bad news while maintaining the best chance of not alienating your reader? This episode, based on Chapter 8 of Business Communication: Rhetorical Situations (Broadview.com), explains how to organize bad news messages.
This episode focuses on how to write positive and informative messages.It is based on Chapter 7 of Business Communication: Rhetorical Situations (Broadview.com).
How do we adjust our communications for audiences from cultural backgrounds different from our own? This episode starts with advice on how to do this for audiences within North America and then considers how to communicate with cultural groups across the world. The episode summarizes Chapter 6 of Business Communication: Rhetorical Situations (Broad…
This episode identifies two models for writing as part of a team: hierarchical and dialogic. Good team behaviors and behaviors to avoid are also discussed, as well as ways to resolve conflict.
This episode provides a guide to using the sample syllabus, lesson plans, assignments, and grading rubrics for our Business Communication: Rhetorical Situations book (all materials are at wecanwrite.ca).
This episode begins with an overview of how to write a good email message before moving on to give some tips on how to write for social media.
This episode considers the kind of writing style you should employ in business and professional contexts, including a discussion of plain language principles.
This episode provides an overview of Chapter 2 of Business Communication: Rhetorical Situations. It helps listeners understand how to create a persuasive argument in a business setting.
This episode discusses three key elements of any kind of business communication: who you communicate with, why you are communicating with them, and what kind of communication you use.
People often fear giving presentations, but this episode offers strategies to ditch the fear and embrace the occasion.
To communicate technical communication effectively, we need to use online modes: file-sharing, pdfs, screencasts, podcasts, and more.
What are the basic elements of a laboratory report in the sciences? This episode describes the sections of the lab report and what to put in the different sections.
This episode provides an overview of short and long reports from Chapter 7 of the Concise Guide to Technical Communication (Broadview Press).
What is the least you need to know to get started writing in an organization? This episode provides an overview of Chapter 6 of the Concise Guide to Technical Communication. We focus on audience, genres (email, memos, letters) and purpose (persuading, informing, building goodwill).
When--and which--visuals should you use when communicating technical and scientific information? This podcast gives a short overview of the answers to those questions from Chapter 5 of our Concise Guide to Technical Communication.
How do we help students come back after an academic integrity infraction? In this episode, I talk with Dr. Tyler Cawthray of the University of Southern Queensland about the strategies they employ to support students and finish their degree programs.
This episode describes techniques outlined in Chapter 4 of the Concise Guide to Technical Communication (broadview.com) to make your writing clearer, more cohesive, and more concise.
This episode gives an overview of Chapter Two of the Concise Guide to Technical Communication where we discuss ethical issues that come up in technical communication.
What possessed us to write the Concise Guide to Technical Communication? In this episode Heather Graves and Roger Graves talk about why they wrote this new book and how their research and academic work contributed to it.
This episode provides an overview of how audience, purpose, genre and medium affect the choices you need to make as you communicate.
In Chapter 3 of the Concise Guide to Technical Communication from Broadview Press, we discuss ways to generate information for technical documents through interviews, surveys, and online research. This podcast provides an overview and introduction to the chapter.
Cosette Lemelin and Roger Graves talk about The Talk: how should instructors go about conducting and interview with a student about a possible, probable, or even blatant academic integrity violation? We identify strategies and profile four different kinds of strategies students tend to use when they arrive for these conversations.…
How much time should instructors devote to academic integrity? To answer that question for themselves, they need some sense of how prevalent cheating is. This podcast examines answers to that question, and looks at cheating by professors before suggesting two strategies instructors should adopt to limit cheating.…
Academic integrity manifests itself somewhat differently in online instructional contexts. In this episode, Roger Graves talks with Ellen Watson of the University of Alberta's Centre for Teaching and Learning about how instructors can organize their online courses to discourage cheating and maintain the academic integrity of online learning. This p…
This episode combines ideas from the plain language movement with ideas about how to use narrative structures to explain complex research projects.
What are some best practices for teaching writing online when you've been asked to move a class online with little notice? This episode identifies 6 specific things to do to survive and maybe even thrive the abrupt move to an online learning environment.
How can you get students to read your feedback to their assignments? First, separate formative from summative feedback. Second, structure opportunities for peer feedback. And third, give feedback to the class through annotated model papers.
In this episode we consider specific ways to write more clearly and more concisely. Clarity and concision both affect the overall style in which you write, and while both clear writing and concise writing are good things there are times when some writers need to produce elaborate discourse and longer texts.…
Of the three main styles of writing, the plain (or low) style may be the most useful. This episode of Teaching Writing descirbes the plain style of writing and gives examples of how it is used in writing for academics as well as non-academic audiences.
In this episode I define writing style in academic writing, and consider the three levels of style: low or plain, middle or forcible, and high or elaborated. Using these as a rough guide to readability, we use a style analysis tool to both examine our own writing styles and those of other writers you might seek to emulate.…
In this episode we'll examine writing style: the low or plain style, the middle or forcible style, and the high or florid style. Using those definitions, we'll describe ways to analyze the style a document is written in as a way to develop the ability to write in several different styles.
In this episode we’ll review some of the advice given to academics who write, including Helen Sword’s Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write, and map it against Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We’ll consider the map those books provide in the context of research about writers to think about what makes us…
Heather Graves and David Beard, co-editors of a new collection of essays on the rhetoric of oil published by Routledge, speak about their book, their favorite chapters, and why this is an important book for them and for your students.
Despite a recent news story posted on CBC.ca, students have been buying essays for over 100 years--this is nothing new. New artificial intelligence software promises to make it even easier to produce an essay without writing one. What can instructors do about this age-old problem?
What software tools and applications exist that might help you, and your students, write better documents? In this episode of Teaching Writing, we review what tools are out there that might help with different aspects of the writing process.
How can we develop better graduate student writers? In this episode I discuss several strategies: mapping out a plan of development over the entire degree program; developing and using specific models of the genres students need to master in order to graduate; and four specific strategies to adopt right away.…
At the start of a recent workshop, I asked graduate student supervisors what they most wanted to know. In this podcast, I provide an edited version of my answers. How can your students write more efficiently in your lab? How can you give good feedback to the students? and what strategies might help English as an additional language students?…
In this episode I talk with Boba Samuels and Jordana Garbati, authors of the textbook Mastering Academic Writing. You'll hear about how their wealth of experience working with students in writing centres informed the way they wrote this book and the kinds of needs the book fills.
How can we help students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, understand how to create appropriate visuals to include in their documents? In this episode, I talk about research I've done with Chemical Engineering professors and with writing studies colleagues on the role of visuals in texts.…
In this episode we consider the concept of genre, as writing studies researchers have framed it, to think about the kinds of writing we assign to students and that we encounter at work. What does genre add to our understanding of what needs to be written that purpose and audience do not already tell us?…
In this episode I focus on purpose, both in academic and in professional writing contexts. The four main purposes for writing are to inform, to persuade, to deliberate, and to reflect. As instructors, we need to orient students to the purpose for their writing.
This episode examines purposes for documents, and, in fact, other communication situations. What is the purpose of a document? Referential, expressive, and persuasive are three of the main purposes that documents serve. When we communicate with students, we need to be clear about the purpose their documents serve.…
Requiring students to write for different audiences is crucial for their development. In this podcast I review how audience is one of the three key characteristics of what Lloyd Bitzer termed "rhetorical situations."
I taught my first writing class 38 years ago. What advice would I have given myself then based on what I know now? In this episode, I begin to explore that idea, examining audience, peer response, and grading rubrics as some of the first things that come to mind.
In this episode, Roger Graves and Theresa Hyland talk about their 2017 edited volume, Writing Assignments Across University Disciplines, and the implications that research has for instructors, students, and university administrators.