Helping undergraduates be more successful at academic writing

As an English teacher, I spent years helping undergraduates improve their writing skills. As a sociology teacher, I have seen the differences in education and college preparation between college students. It’s important to me to “pull back the curtain,” so to speak, on academic writing, so that understanding how to write well, at the college level, is not limited to undergraduates whose high school education was able to provide this training.

I’ve started a new blog, called Undergraduates Write!, aimed at making academic writing expectations understandable to a wide range of students with a wide range of academic experience.

My goal is 1 post per week, beginning in January. It’s a fledgling blog right now, but I hope that as it grows it will become useful for a lot of students. Please follow, like, and share if you agree.

My most recent post explains how to read an assignment sheet and rubric. Check it out here.

Gender Stratified Monopoly

In April of this year my first publication went into print in Teaching Sociology – very exciting! Like most people who publish in academic journals, I had to shorten the paper to meet the editor’s expectations, which means that a painful amount of material had to be left out. This included details on how to play, and never mind appendices that provide details on how to set up the game.

A few days ago I received an email from a professor in Kentucky, asking if I had any of those details that I could share. After pillaging old drafts and sending what I could, it dawned on me . . . . most likely, other people would like to have that stuff as well. Teachers are busy people – if someone has already done it, why do it again?

So here are my resources that will make your life a little easier if you decide to use Gender Stratified Monopoly in the classroom: Setting up Gender Stratified Monopoly. If you’re brave and just want to jump to the downloadable version, here it is: Setting up Gender Stratified Monopoly.

Also VERY exciting – a month or so ago I decided to have a look at the ASA job bank, hit the ASA home page, and found this staring back at me:


ASA Screen Shot

So that happened. Of course I posted about it on Facebook, told all my friends, and in between all of that, stared at the computer with my mouth hanging open. Then the department gave me a research award for writing a dissertation and publishing an article in ASA’s flagship teaching journal, all while teaching 4/4 and being a mom and partner. Don’t ask. I don’t know how I did it, either.

The article was live online last fall, and as I write this, it has an “above-average attention score” for an article of it’s “age.”

That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.