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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom


CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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Dear Instructor,

This isn’t a book that is meant to explain everything about writing to students.

This is a book that aims to help them understand why composition matters in the “real world” they are so anxious to join.

When I first stepped into a classroom, I had heard so much about the apathy of today’s college student that I was convinced that I would encounter an aggressively inattentive audience. I had done presentations to corporate clients, spoken in front of large groups, but I worried how I would get twenty-five indifferent 18–24-year-olds to speak. What if they stared at me in abject silence?

Of course, that did not happen. I had a perfectly ordinary group. Some spoke. Others didn’t. That first semester teaching was an education for us all. I mostly learned that my students were worried about getting a job, hoping to improve their life options and finances. You know, success. So was everyone else I knew.

If they were silent, it wasn’t that they inherently didn’t care. It was that they didn’t understand why the topic mattered.

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