Coaching the Craft of Writing

Elizabeth Losh

Office hours are Mondays 2:00-3:00 in PCYN 249

Contact: lizlosh (at) ucsd (dot) edu

Are you curious about why writing presents such a unique challenge to UCSD's population of high-achieving students? Work with Elizabeth Losh from Sixth College to gain knowledge about how people learn to write, how to help people learn to write, and effective practices for coaching CAT 1 writers. You will then put that knowledge to work by coaching CAT 1 students in the college's Writing Studio. In the process, your reflections on your own writing and writing-voice will be enriched.

A requirement of the course is that you tutor CAT 1 students up to 6 hours per week, to be scheduled. In addition, you will be reading some classic works in the field of composition studies and some CAT 1 readings to facilitate your tutoring. You will be asked to submit journals on your tutoring activities each week, and complete a final report with recommendations.

This course is open to students in all majors. If you are considering the possibility of becoming a teacher, this CAT course is the place to explore the work of teaching!

Possible Benefits


10%: Publicity Campaign

40%: Weekly Reflections

30%: Seminar Participation

20%: Final Research Report




Week 1:

Meeting with Last Year's Practicum Students

Reading: Anne Lamott, "Shitty First Drafts"

Weekly Reflection One Due


Week 2:

Literacy Narratives and Media Outreach

Reading: Mike Rose, "I Just Wanna Be Average"

Weekly Reflection Two Due


Week 3:

Talking about Critical Reading

Reading: Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander, "Strategic Reading" from Understanding Rhetoric

Weekly Reflection Three Due


Week 4:

Talking about Thesis Development

Reading: Janet Emig, "Writing as a Mode of Learning"

Weekly Reflection Four Due


Week 5:

Talking about Instructor Feedback

Reading: Summer Smith, "The Genre of the End Comment"

Weekly Reflection Five Due


Week 6:

Second Language Learners

Reading: Guadalupe Vald├ęs

Weekly Reflection Six Due

Week 7:

Talking about Error

Reading: Patrick Hartwell, "Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar"


Week 8:

Reading: Stephen North, "The Idea of a Writing Center" and "Revisiting 'The Idea of a Writing Center'"

Week 9:

Effecting Systematic Change

Reading: Donald Bartholomae, "Inventing the University"

Draft of Report Due


Week 10:

Research in Writing Studies

Final Report Due