News

Aaron Colton's article “Who (According to Students) Uses the Writing Center: Acknowledging Impressions and Misimpressions of Writing Center Services and User Demographics” will be featured in the new issue of Praxis. This article analyzes the results of a spring 2019 survey of Georgia Tech undergraduates on their understandings and impressions of the services that the Georgia Tech Communication Center provides and the students the center sees most frequently. By comparing such understandings across participants’ self-… read more about Aaron Colton's Article To Be Featured in Praxis »

A small red timer in the shape of a tomato is the key to Sabrina Thomas’ focus. She sets the timer for 25-minutes and gets started on single task such as responding to email, writing a transition paragraph in her book about Black doll production in the 20th century or preparing for an upcoming meeting. When the timer beeps, Thomas takes a 5-minute break. Her practice is known as the Pomodoro Technique, suggests you work on a big or small task in increments of 25 minutes, taking short breaks after each session to do… read more about Pomodoro Technique for Writers »

It's a pleasure to introduce myself and to join the Thompson Writing Program! My affinity for writing centers and composition pedagogy began at Vassar College, where I first found a space for thinking about what it means to be a writer and how to relate to other writers as a peer. I was fortunate in my PhD studies at the University of Virginia and postdoc at Georgia Tech to further my commitment to writing centers, first as a graduate consultant at the UVA Writing Center and then as an assistant director of the Georgia Tech… read more about Introducing Dr. Aaron Colton, Thompson Writing Program Lecturer »

Sarah Parsons is an entomologist with a special love for the interaction between plants and insects.  Her research is focused in the area of urban ecology.  She studies how urban environments affect insects, as well as plant-insect dynamics. Dr. Parsons received her doctorate in Entomology at NC State University.  She also has a Master in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Emory University.  Dr. Parsons is excited to be a part of… read more about Introducing Dr. Sarah Parsons, Thompson Writing Program Lecturing Fellow »

When writing about their latest discoveries, scientists often have reason to reuse some material from their prior publications. This practice, known as text recycling or “self-plagiarism,” has become the subject of widespread debate. Moskovitz’s Text Recycling Research Project aims to help scientists and editors deal with the ethical and legal complications. read more about TWP faculty member Cary Moskovitz featured in NIEHS magazine story »

The Thompson Writing Program is teaming up with the rest of the Duke community to commemorate the Class of 2020 on May 10th at 10:00am. Marking the Moment  is a digital experience Duke has created to celebrate the graduating students.   Download the Thompson Writing Program's Marking the Moment's slideshow!  To read President Vince Price Marking the Moment announcement, you can find the information here.   read more about Marking The Moment: Duke Class of 2020 »

I have been attending Faculty Write writing groups for years now, either as a participant or as a convener. I look forward to them every single time. Though I consider myself an introvert, I have come to realize that I need to feel that I am working in a community that will sustain me and my efforts. And that is what I have felt from the very beginning with the writing groups: unqualified support, a non-judgmental atmosphere, and marking off an occasion to focus on one task. It is one of the things I miss the most about… read more about A sense of a week, a sense of community: When our writing group moved online »

Part of the role of a university press is to help authors identify the right publishing home for their work, even if that means “losing” the project to another press, Duke University Press Director Dean Smith told an audience of Duke faculty members, staff and students last week. Smith’s comments were part of a conversation that also featured Julia Reidhead, president of W. W. Norton & Company, that provided advice for both prospective authors and students considering careers in publishing. Moderator Ed Balleisen,… read more about Advice for Would-be Book Authors »

A group of Duke faculty members received a new tool last week in the fight against writer’s block: dance. A Feb. 15 writing retreat taught scholars how to get their writing moving. The retreat, a collaboration between Duke Arts and the Duke Faculty Write program mixed traditional writing tricks with embodied movement tools. It was co-taught by Jennifer Ahern-Dodson from the Thompson Writing Program and Sarah Wilbur from the Duke Dance program. The retreat approached the act of writing as an embodied practice. Wilbur led… read more about Need to Get Past That Writer's Block? Get Up and Dance »

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, historian Nicole Elizabeth Barnes joined the Faculty Write Program's First Book Faculty Writing Group to talk about her experience writing her first book, Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China 1937-1945 (University of CA Press, 2018). Barnes’ first book started as a dissertation that undertook a revisionist history of wartime healthcare in China from the perspective of women’s & gender history in the 1930s and 1940s. Barnes’ approach in… read more about How I Wrote My First Book »

Authorship remains both a primary means for sharing scientific discovery and a primary currency for demonstrating an individual’s scientific contribution.  Consequently, deciding authorship has the potential to impact careers, funding for future research, and intellectual credit for a body of work. The Duke Office of Scientific Integrity (DOSI) recently hosted a Research Town Hall “Whose Paper is it Anyway? A Discussion on Authorship." We used live audience polling to guide the session and bring audience voices into the… read more about Whose Paper is it Anyway? A Discussion on Authorship »

“As scholars, we often find ourselves being asked to separate teaching from scholarship from service,” says Dr. Jennifer Ahern-Dodson, Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Thompson Writing Program and founder of the Faculty Write Program. The reality, however, is that all of those components are inextricably linked, as experience in one sphere enhances perspective in another. Recognizing this, Ahern-Dodson seeks to provide a space for faculty doing community-engaged work to take the time to thoughtfully integrate the… read more about Building and Sustaining Momentum as Engaged Scholars »

On November 9, 2018, Jennifer Ahern-Dodson spoke with Engaged Scholars Emily Janke and Rebecca Dumlao about their writing lives. Emily Janke is Associate Professor of the Peace and Conflict Studies department and Director of the Institute for Community and Economic Engagement at UNC Greensboro. Rebecca Dumlao is Professor in the School of Communication at East Carolina University. Together, Janke and Dumlao shared their experience as collaborators, researchers, and writers with the participants at the fall Engaged Scholars… read more about "How I Write": A Conversation with Engaged Scholars Emily Janke and Rebecca Dumlao »

This month two faculty members in the North Carolina Campus Compact network will begin one-year terms as Engaged Faculty Scholars. Dr. Jennifer Ahern-Dodson of Duke University and Dr. Rebecca Dumlao of East Carolina University (ECU) are the fourth pair of NC faculty members selected for the role, which was created in 2015. Ahern-Dodson and Dumlao will receive support from the Compact and from their respective institutions as they undertake a project designed to deepen the scholarship of campus-community engagement at their… read more about Jennifer Ahern-Dodson named Engaged Faculty Scholar by NC Campus Compact  »

On April 13, 2018, Reynolds and Schiff led a discussion at Duke’s Perkins Library on how faculty can integrate their research and teaching. Questions they addressed included: What is writing-to-learn? What is “hot” right now in the field of STEM education? How can researchers learn to live with the “messy data” involved in education research? And perhaps most importantly, what’s the best way to get started? Julie Reynolds is a professor of biology at Duke University. Leslie Schiff is a professor of microbiology and… read more about Integrating Research and Teaching »

Author John Warner Urges Faculty to Write about Teaching     Six years ago, writing instructor John Warner realized that higher education had a problem. Record numbers of students were experiencing anxiety, sometimes so severe they could hardly bring themselves to attend class. Yet data showed that college students were studying less. “Somehow, they’re working less, but worrying more,” he wrote in an article for his Inside Higher Ed blog – an article titled “Students Crying in My Office… read more about Writing about Teaching »

Six years ago, writing instructor John Warner realized that higher education had a problem. Record numbers of students were experiencing anxiety, sometimes so severe they could hardly bring themselves to attend class. Yet data showed that college students were studying less. “Somehow, they’re working less, but worrying more,” he wrote in an article for his Inside Higher Ed blog – an article titled “Students Crying in My Office.” His conclusion? Students were too protected from adversity. They weren’t resilient… read more about Author John Warner Urges Faculty to Write about Teaching »

Dr. Adam Boyette is an anthropologist and Lecturing Fellow in the TWP. In addition to teaching Writing 101 course options from the disciplinary perspectives of biological and cultural anthropology, Boyette also maintains an active research program on issues of child development in small-scale societies. Adam is an expert in children’s social learning and parenting and has worked primarily with hunter-gatherer and subsistence farming communities in the Congo Basin. Over the past two years, his research has taken him to the… read more about Dr. Adam Boyette, Thompson Writing Program Fellow »

The Duke Faculty Write Program’s annual retreat came just in time for statistician Elizabeth “Liz” Turner who was facing a looming deadline for an important grant proposal.  With time short but the pace of the academic year finally past her, Turner packed her bags for the cozy amenities of the King’s Daughters Inn, where she and two dozen faculty colleagues spent four days talking about writing, sharing advice and getting down to work. Writing is a way of life for many of Duke’s faculty, and it comes in different forms.… read more about At Summer Retreat, Faculty Brush Up on Their Writing »

Dr. Eliana Schonberg, Director of the TWP Writing Studio and Assistant Professor of the Practice in Writing Studies, has been named an incoming co-editor of The Writing Center Journal, the official journal of the International Writing Centers Association. The biannual journal, which was launched in 1980, is the primary research journal in the field of writing center studies and has an acceptance rate of 17%. Along with Drs. Pam Bromley of Pomona College and Kara Northway of Kansas State University, she will begin… read more about Eliana Schonberg named co-editor of The Writing Center Journal, the official journal of the International Writing Centers Association »

Denise Comer has been named winner of the 2017 Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards (ATLAS). The intent of the international award is to highlight innovative or transformative educational applications of Apereo tools. Comer received the award for her innovation designing Writing 270: Composing the Internship Experience: Social Media and Digital Discourse. Writing 270 is a fully online summer undergraduate course at Duke that enables students to meaningfully reflect on and productively narrate their summer internships or… read more about Denise Comer Named Winner of the 2017 Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards »

Nan is the Senior Global Fellow, teaching one semester at Duke each year, while traveling to China once a year to teach advanced research and writing at Duke Kunshan University. Nan took this position with the TWP in the summer of 2016 after having taught Writing 101 and Writing in the Disciplines for five years. Nan earned her PhD in History from the State University of New York at Albany in 2009, with a concentration in nineteenth-century American gender and cultural history. Her first book, Staging Family, Mid-… read more about Nan Mullenneaux, Senior Global Fellow »

[This is a guest post by Jennifer Ahern-Dodson, an assistant professor of the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University where she teaches digital storytelling and researches learning communities and community-university partnerships. You can follow her on Twitter @jaherndodson.--@JBJ] On May 31st panic set in. I had agreed to commit to writing every day in the month of June as part of a faculty writing group experiment. Inspired both by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), recent conversations… read more about Scholarly Writing Hacks: 5 Lessons I learned Writing Every Day in June »

A new Duke writing group aims to improve faculty writing Until recently, Huffin the Puffin -- a quirky little bird perched on a fencepost above a pebbly seashore -- existed only in Dan McShea's mind. Then the Duke biologist tried to move his laser-sharp image of Huffin, a bedtime story character he created for his children, out of his head and onto paper. It didn't go smoothly. Writing, it turns out, isn't easy. So McShea joined a new initiative on campus aimed at helping faculty cultivate their writing. This… read more about From Brain to Paper: How to Write Well »