Harvard Professor to Direct Writing Workshops

COLUMBUS, Ga. - A professor who has mentored new writing teachers for 30 years at Harvard University, will direct a series of workshops at Columbus State University on Tuesday, Oct. 7 to support CSU’s writing-focused Quality Enhancement Plan.

Nancy SommersNancy Sommers, right, who teaches writing for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, will direct a pair of workshops for faculty, one for students and another for staff of the CSU Writing Center.

The following interactive sessions will run through the afternoon:

• “Responding to Student Writing” faculty workshop, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Cunningham Center Blanchard Hall A. (RSVP to cummings_robert1@ColumbusState.edu.)

• Session for Writing Center consultants, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Woodall 116

• Student focus group, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Woodall 121 (RSVP to cummings_robert1@ColumbusState.edu)

• Faculty focus group, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Woodall 121

Topics in the opening faculty workshop will include “goals and purposes in commenting on student writing,” “student reactions to teachers’ comments” and “inspiring student action through more effective commenting.”

“Overall, Dr. Sommers will provide faculty training, as well as acknowledge the work we have already done to improve writing instruction at CSU, said QEP Program Specialist Bob Cummings. “The QEP is truly a campus-wide effort, involving all disciplines.”

Sommers, who for 20 years directed Harvard’s first-year writing program, is well known for her research into student writing. Her articles, “Revision Strategies of Student and Experienced Writers” and “Responding to Student Writing” are two of the most widely read and anthologized articles in the field.

She also is the lead co-author on the best-selling handbooks The Bedford Handbook, A Writer’s Reference, Rules for Writers and A Pocket Style Manual.

Cummings said Sommers’ visit reflects the growing stature of CSU's QEP, as faculty members from other Southeast colleges and universities will travel to Columbus to participate in the workshops. “Our QEP effort is truly unparalleled in the region,” he said,