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Publications [#259170] of Cary Moskovitz

Book Reviews

  1. Moskovitz, C, Introducing Students to College Writing. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture 11:1 (Winter, 2011): 211-218. [doi]
    (last updated on 2022/07/04)

    First-year writing (FYW) courses can play a pivotal role in helping students move from high school to college-level writing. Yet at my institution, about a fourth of our students take required "first-year seminars" — courses with substantive writing assignments taught by faculty from across the college — before FYW, and even more take them simultaneously. Regardless of our curricular intentions, many of our students first face the transition to college writing not in FYW but in other courses. Unfortunately, in contrast to the rich variety of instructional materials designed for FYW, there is not much suited to students in these kinds of courses. So I was excited to see Keith Hjortshoj’s newly revised and expanded Transition to College Writing; the concept of the book suggested a good fit for students in these courses, and I admire The Elements of Teaching Writing (2004), the guide for teachers of Writing in the Disciplines (WID) courses that Hjortshoj coauthored with Katherine Gottschalk. A combination self-help guide and didactic "rhetoric," Transition begins with matters of process — note taking, reading, drafting, and so on — before moving to specifics of focus, organization, claim making, and citation. I particularly like the way Transition is built around discussions of common but generally unproductive writing and reading practices. Yet, despite the publisher’s claims on the jacket that the book addresses "the essential reading and writing strategies students need to succeed in courses across the curriculum," much of the advice and most of the examples do not adequately represent scholarly practices beyond humanities and qualitative social science disciplines.

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