Read This First

Welcome to the Pedagogy of Basic Writing for Spring 2017. There is an undergraduate version (4030–was mistakenly listed as 4100 at first) and a graduate version (6030–same story with the error–was 6100).

You will see two separate pages for these course requirements on the navigation bar, but we’re really one course, one team, one crew. There are some different assignments, but these will be noted on the Reading/Writing page.

I’m the professor, Dr. E.D. Woodworth, Honors Assoc. Professor in the English & Philosophy Department at Auburn University at Montgomery. I teach writing and British literature. I teach honors seminars. I’m the director of the composition program. I consult with colonels at the Air War College, aye, and senior civilian leaders about writing and arrrrrgument.

In this course, we are channeling the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Strange, eh? But as we go along, you’ll see how this fits with teaching basic writing (see The Pirate Code which is more like guidelines anyway–I posted a bit about this already). For now: aye, arrrr, avast ye scabrous dogs, batten down yer hatches, and ready yer mizzen mast, as we’re likely to encounter some British patrols.

Exciting things about this class: you’ll be working in several online spaces to learn and communicate. These are free sites (feels pirate-y to be working with such freedom). Part of education today and in the future is learning how to navigate online, how to create an appropriate persona, how to communicate effectively in a variety of media. For this class, we are doing that. It’s online, so we need to learn how to do online learning and collaboration in order to learn the content of this class. SO you are doing two things this term: learning about Pedagogy of Basic Writing and writing online to communicate your thinking to your peers and to me. Pretend you are a pirate, and this is how you’ll win glory and riches for the spring term. Yo ho!

Here’s what you need to for this class:

  1. You’ll need some kind of reliable computing device (desktop, laptop, or tablet) and stable internet. Without some reliable device and good, stable internet. Without these things, ye’ll be sunk like a cargo-ladden ship way-laid by pirates.
  2. READ all the way through this page.
  3. THEN read all the way through the syllabus page. There are no short cuts for this. ALL information is contained in this page and the syllabus page–either explaining how to succeed in this class or where to get information so you can succeed in this class. After you read this page, THEN the syllabus page, come back here and read again beginning with #4.   ENGL 4030   ENGL 6030
  4. After you’ve read the syllabus, you will need to create a WordPress Site. This is simple to do with multiple tutorials available for you on YouTube. You’ll need to NOT use your own name for this, please, but use something pirate-y or whatever. Go here: to get started. I like going through the WordPress process, but YouTube tutorials can be helpful. Click on “get started.” Please choose the free site. You should not pay for anything. If you are asked to pay for anything, get out of there, go back a page, or quit the whole process and begin again. When you have the basics, send me the URL to I’ll compile everyone’s site URLs and email us all.
  5. Send me your Facebook name, I will add you to our secret group site. We will have interactions through that secret group so we can link to websites, videos, share images, and chat freely. We will be able to see each other on that site, but no one else will see what we say, and our conversations will not clog up our FB news feed. If you’re not on FB, get on. It’s extremely simple: go here, click on “create an account,” and go from there. AND let me know what your FB name is so I can add you to a list to share with our group via our AUM email. (You can use a fake image as well as a fake name, we just need to know what you’re using, so I can add you in, and we know who you are!
  6. You will already know something about Blackboard. That will be our filing cabinet for documents for the term. All dynamic interaction will take place through my blog posts (where I’ll post weekly lectures and directions to the work of the week), the pages on my blog where our assignments are listed, FB where we’ll chat, and Blackboard where you’ll find a repository of readings and assignments. Blackboard will also include our grading rubrics–you’ll want to review those before you begin any assignment.
  7. You should order Errors & Expectations by Mina Shaughnessy as soon as possible. They are very inexpensive used (under $10 sometimes), but they will take a week or two to get to you. You’ll need a copy by week three at least.
  8. Go to all the sites listed in the syllabus and bookmark them. Don’t know what bookmarking means? Go here to learn what this is and how to do it in any browser you use. (The beauty of being alive in this age is that you can learn how to do ANYTHING via some tutorial in some place. Just Google what you want to know and go. (Need to build an airplane. Start here. No reason to ever say: “I don’t know how.”)
  9. That’s enough for now.
  10. Let’s get started.