Nathan Jones, professor of English, has two conference presentations and conference proceedings publication:
Jones, Nathan Brian. “Exploring Expectations in College-Level Writing.” 9 Nov. 2019. A paper presented at the 2019 Colorado Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (COTESOL) Annual Convention, Radison Hotel, Denver, Colorado.
What is college-level writing? How can undergraduate writers prepare for the expectations placed upon them? In the first part of this presentation, I explore this topic by building upon research initiated by Thaiss and Zawacki (2006) at George Mason University (GMU), in which faculty across several disciplines were interviewed about their perceptions of the characteristics of college-level writing. My study extends this effort by exploring the perceptions of faculty at an American community college about the characteristics of college-level writing. I report on the interviews of 10 faculty members from various disciplines to understand what differences and points in common that they have about the characteristics of college-level writing. The interview data are analyzed using the qualitative research approach transcendental phenomenology (Husserl, 1970, 1950; Moustakas, 1994). By applying the phenomenological process of epoch, phenomenological reduction, imaginative v ariation, and synthesis of meaning, I develop a set of principles of college-level writing that can be used to help inform writing specialists to prepare undergraduate students for what they are apt to encounter. The results of this study complement and extend the original work proposed by Thaiss and Zawacki at GMU. In the second part of the presentation, I build upon the principles discovered in the interview research by discussing practical steps that ESL and other classroom teachers can take to prepare students to become effective college-level writers. These steps include interviewing faculty from across disciplines about their perceptions of college-level writing, developing a diverse range of assignments to encourage writing students to be flexible, teaching students how to assess the needs of diverse audiences, and accepting the reality of vastly different perceptions of the essence of college-level writing.
Jones, Nathan Brian. “Developing Research-Based Narratives to Teach Undergraduate Writing.” 23 Nov. 2019. A paper to be presented at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Institute ofAdvanced Research 2nd Global Conference on Multidisciplinary Research (GCMAR-2019), Hotel Horison, Legian, Bali, Indonesia.
Jones, Nathan Brian. “Developing Research-Based Narratives to Teach UndergraduateWriting.” Proceedings of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Institute of Advanced Research 2nd Global Conference on Multidisciplinary Research (GCMAR-2019), In press.
What is college-level undergraduate writing and how does it need to be taught? This paper addresses the question and is divided into three parts. The first part introduces a needs analysis used to develop college curriculum. In the needs analysis, information is collected from interviews of faculty members at a Midwestern community college, to identify their perceptions of appropriate college-level writing in English. Using the qualitative research method of transcendental phenomenology, the researcher explores the perceptions of faculty members about college-level writing and synthesizes a set of principles to be considered when teaching students how to write. In the second part of the paper, the researcher explains how the aforementioned principles are used to develop curriculum to teach students to draft research-based narratives, as a means to satisfy requirements for college-level English writing. The research-based narratives are developed in the form of I-Search investigations, based upon previous work pioneered by Ken Macrorie. In the third part of the paper, the researcher explains the benefits of basing work assigned to students on a careful, systematic, selective needs analysis. Implications of this study include developing relevant assignments for students, teaching students the value of research and writing early in their college careers, and accepting local responsibility for developing standards of teaching and writing.