Teaching Resources

This is a list of resources that I have collected from various places that I plan to use when teaching my own classes.


Oklahoma State University Comp Website

Teaching College Literature

Teaching College English

30 Ideas for Teaching Writing

Mr. Anderson Reads and Writes

Cult of Pedagogy


Infographic Resources:

8 Types of Infographics

Layout Cheat Sheet

Do’s and Dont’s of Infographic Design

Infographic Designers

Infographic Design

Ending the Infographic Plague

Google & Infographics



Declaration of Independence – Revision

Orwell – Shooting an Elephant





Lesson Plan

Profile Unit

Day One — Gateway Exercise

Instructor Preparation Note: Have the Profile assignment sheet ready to hand out. Students will have read this profile on the events of 9/11 and EA 24 pages 252-272 to prepare for class.


  • Students will be able to list the three key features of a profile.
  • Students will be able to express the meaning/importance of these five features.
  • Students will be able to articulate the differences between a profile and a literacy narrative.

Whole Class Discussion – 10 minutes

The instructor will ask students to turn to pages 270-272 of the text. As a whole class they will discuss the details that are necessary for a suitable profile. The three features outlined on 270-272 are:

  • Firsthand Account
  • Detailed Information about the Subject
  • Interesting Angle (Define both “Interesting” and “Angle,” as these are key terms)

Small Group Discussion of the 9/11 Profile – 15 minutes

The instructor will ask students to get into groups of 3-5 and apply the 3 key features of a profile to the 9/11 piece they read for class.

Answer these questions:

  • How does it follow these guidelines for a profile?
  • Where does it deviate?
  • What is the angle of this piece?
  • What do you like/dislike about this piece?

Whole Class Discussion – 10 minutes

The instructor will ask the groups to share their findings with the class.

Introduction to Profile Assignment – 15 minutes

The instructor will hand out the assignment sheets for the Profile Assignment that is due at the end of this unit, and go over the key features, explaining how it differs from the Literacy Narrative the students have just completed, and answering any questions they may have.

Key things to highlight: they must use interviews in this assignment, they will use many of the same tools and strategies that were laid out for the Literacy Narrative (such as vivid descriptions and a strong sense of purpose/significance (here pushed further as an angle that they will take). Give some suggestions for directions they can take this assignment: the Student Union, the President of OSU, the botanical gardens, all are excellent choices for this assignment. They must simply find a way to incorporate an interview into their piece, whether it is someone who works in the place you selected, the person you selected, or someone who knows the person.


Board traces, quiz results, homework

Homework Assignment

Read EA pages 273-279, the profile titled “Heart and Sole”

While reading, note how this profile does or does not follow the five characteristics we discussed in class today. Write a 500 word response to this profile discussing these observations.

Day Two Outcomes

  • Students will be able to examine a text and explain how it follows the generic conventions discussed in the previous class or not.
  • Students will generate a list of possible topics for their profiles.

Profile Essay

ENGL 1113

What is a Profile?

A profile is a written portrait of a subject. This can be a person, a place, or an object. In a profile essay, observations, interviews, and facts are selected and arranged to reveal an interesting topic, present a particular angle, and define the topic’s significance. For this profile essay, you will explore something you want to know more about. Using a person, place, or object that can be found in Stillwater is strongly encouraged. For this essay, no matter the main subject, you must interview at least one person.


Peer review: Friday September 13

Conferences: Sign up in class

Final Draft: Friday September 20

Key Terms

Angle, Profile, Interesting

What Will this Essay Need?

    • A clear topic to profile. Do not profile multiple people, places, or things. Do not pick something you are already intimately familiar with.
    • An interesting angle and arrangement of the information. What do you want to convey about your subject and why?
    • The ability to experience your profile. Don’t pick a place you cannot visit or a person you cannot interview/interview someone who knows them. Something or someone in the Stillwater area is strongly encouraged.
    • An interview with someone related to your topic, e.g., someone who knows the person; someone who is in the place when you observe it; someone who has experience with the object.
    • Interesting and vivid details. Strong verbs. Characterize this subject so your audience gains a strong understanding of your subject. Awareness of your audience, an understanding of who they are (or may be) and what they want.


  • For this essay, do not profile a group of which you are a member.


  • 4-6 pages, MLA format: 1” margins, no extra spaces between paragraphs, double spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman font.


Primarily your peers and instructor, but remember that your audience for this paper may extend with time, to family, friends, even readers you have never met.


  • This essay can be playful and creative. Do what you can to make your subject feel alive.
  • Pick a person, place, or object that excites and interests you. Something you know a little about, but would like to know more is a safe bet. If you are profiling a person, you may also want to interview someone who knows them to gain another side.
  • Ask yourself “what has my audience not heard about this subject before? What makes this interesting to my audience?”
  • This essay is about your subject. You can inject yourself a little to help add context or understanding — such as how the subject comes across in person — but the focus should remain on the subject.
  • When you interview, ask open-ended questions and don’t be afraid to chase unexpected threads.

Digital Portfolio Overview

This Digital Teaching Portfolio includes a variety of materials and is meant to be a brief overview and give insight into my approach to teaching.

On this site you will find a sample lesson plan, a summary of a unit plan, a teaching philosophy, a list of teaching resources, and information about my approach to grading, peer review, and revision. These materials can be found by using the menu and drop-down bars at the top of the page.

Enjoy browsing through these materials.


Overview of the Evaluative Unit for Comp 1

Composing the Evaluative Essay


Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the evaluative criteria by exhibiting the following:

  • Students will evaluate and assess the positions taken in a collection of texts about a particular researched subject and take a stance on that issue through a thesis-driven essay for a specialized/academic audience.
  • Students will read, summarize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate texts in a variety of styles, genres, and mediums, demonstrating the ability to do so in forms that may include – but are not limited to – class discussions, quizzes, annotations, and writing about writing.
  • Students will revise and edit multiple drafts to produce writing that is well organized, mechanically and grammatically sound, and mostly error free.
  • Students will effectively identify and differentiate the components of a text, including audience, tone, angle, theme, etc.
  • Students will construct an impactful and concise thesis statement to build upon in an evaluative essay.
  • Students will analyze and assess effective evaluative strategies in others’ work in a peer review setting.
  • Finally, students will craft a nuanced, informed, and skillful evaluative essay that will be developed over multiple drafts.

Assignment Sheet:

Assignment borrowed and adapted from this resource.

Essay Four: Evaluation Essay


Description: If you decide to read movie reviews, you are reading a form of an evaluative argument. You might read evaluations to decide which car is a better value for your money, which instructor to take for your next composition class, or if that coffee maker will hold out longer than your last one did. An evaluation makes an argument about an item by measuring the item against a set of criteria. The argument takes the form of a judgment. (Yes, the new Jurassic World is worth seeing at midnight. If you want a traditional romance, don’t watch Trainwreck.)

Task: For this assignment, you will write an evaluation about some type of media product (a book, movie, album, video game, etc). You will develop a set of criteria on which you will base your judgment, and using those criteria, explain your judgment to your audience. You should also find two reviews about the same topic to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic; however, you should use these sparingly.

Your evaluation will be similar to the book or movie reviews you might read online, but you will need to tailor for an academic audience. In order to do this, you should keep your rhetorical situation in mind. Something like, “The graphics are wicked,” might be acceptable for a quick Facebook review of the newest Call of Duty, but for this essay, you will need to use more specific language than “wicked.” You will also need to provide a balanced assessment of your text, so you will need to discuss both the positive and negative aspects, or strengths and weaknesses of your text. Because of this, your evaluation will probably be stronger if you do not write about something you love; you may not see the flaws.

Your essay should incorporate no fewer than three and no more than five quotations that are properly introduced, cited, integrated, and explained in terms of your argument. You must also include a proper MLA Works Cited page for the text you analyze.


This essay will constitute 20% of your grade, or 200 out of 1000 points.

MLA format, 12 pt font, Times New Roman

5-7 pages in length


1 page proposal

Rough draft

Peer review

Final draft

Overview of Classes:

Day One: The instructor will introduce the students to the concept of an evaluative essay by showing them examples of movie reviews. Because one of the options the students can choose to take in their essay is an evaluation of a movie, this helps to create a clear picture in their minds of what exactly is being asked of them.

  • Resources: The blogs posts found here and here

Day Two: The students will explore the genre of review and key terms, using various examples. Texts:

  • Resources: Everyone’s an Author chapter 15: “Two Thumbs Up: Writing a Review,” Siskel and Ebert “Women in Danger Part 1” screening in class.

Day Three: Students will begin to develop their evaluative criteria, topic proposals due.

  • Resources: Everyone’s an Author chapter 18: “Strategies for Supporting an Argument”

Day Four: Students will discuss how to create a strong and persuasive argument.

  • Resources: Everyone’s an Author chapter 11: “Arguing a Position,” and George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”

Day Five: Further discussion of persuasive argument using commercials

  • Resources: Possible commercial options: Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, Dr. Pepper: “Mountain Man”, Geico “Flextacular”, Dove For Men “Manly Ad”, Jose Cuerva “Most Interesting Man in the World”, Miller Light “Man Up” Campaign

Day Six: In class work day.

Day Seven: Discussion of themes and further development of criteria. Rough Draft due in class.

Day Eight: Conferences

Day Nine: Peer-Review Workshop in class.

Day Ten: Discussion of revision tactics.

  • Resources: Everyone’s an Author chapter 32, “Checking for Common Mistakes”

Day Eleven: In class work day.

Day Twelve: Informal presentations, Final Draft Due In-Class.


Teaching Philosophy

Everyone “writes” in a way; that is, each person has a “story”—a personal narrative—which is constantly being replayed, revised, taken apart, and put together again. The significant points in this narrative change as a person ages—what may have been tragedy at twenty is seen as comedy or nostalgia at forty. All children “write.” (And paint, and sing.) I suppose the real question is why do so many people give it up. Intimidation, I suppose. Fear of not being good. Lack of time.” — Margaret Atwood, in a 1990 interview with the Paris Review

This quote from Margaret Atwood sums up my personal belief about writing and informs my approach to teaching. Every individual is already involved in composing a narrative of sorts. I want to help my students to continue this pursuit. To that end I intentionally work to remove all obstacles from their paths and help them to see their compositions as valuable and worth the effort.

Behind everything I do when in the classroom is the fundamental belief that all students are valuable and worth my time. I believe that empathy and respect are the two most valuable outlooks, and I plan to model this for my students and will expect them to behave similarly within my classroom. I want to teach students that they can disagree with each other and me as long as it is done from a position of respect.

When I teach composition and literature classes I want to enable my students to think critically about the topics at hand and form their own opinions about various texts. At the end of the day, the most important thing in my mind is whether or not the students leave me class with the ability to apply critical reasoning in the world they live. As Atwood points out, all my students are writers; I want to help them continue to develop these skills. To that end, in my composition classes I will request that students write about things that have personal interest to them. We will evaluate commercials, popular movies, and music. I will ask them to turn to their immediate surroundings to find a figure to profile. Because I want to show them that these skills that I am teaching them can be applied in their everyday lives and are not limited to the classroom, I will have them develop a blog where they can post their work. I want my students to leave my class with the ability to write confidently about their lives and surroundings.

In my upper level literature classes, I will tie in the required readings as much as I can to the interests in my class, in order to maximize student interest and retention. My classes will pay particular attention to the development of literary characters and the ways that they interact with their peers and environment. What biases and suppositions are present in these works? Where do these biases come from? To answer these questions we will look closely at the texts themselves, but, since nothing is born in a vacuum, we will also examine the historical moment in which the text was created. These are questions that we will discuss in class and develop arguments about in responses and formal papers. Class discussion will often be student led, and I will make changes to the syllabus if they suggest texts that are appropriate for class discussion. I will also assign broad paper topics, in order to allow them to take the assignment in directions that they find exciting; I want them to develop a passion for analysis of literary works and I believe that this approach will cultivate this passion. I will also be willing to provide ideas for directions to take the papers as well, since I know that not all students will be as capable of finding a topic and focus without some assistance. This is not failure, but an acknowledgement of reality. Everyone will come in at a different point, and they will all have different goals for this class. I want to push them to find their own ideas and topics, but I am more than willing to provide as much assistance as needed.

My lower level literature classes will be a little more structured, as these students are still learning exactly what is expected from them, but I want to push them towards self-directed learning. I will offer suggestions for paper topics on the assignment sheet, but I will also stress that they are allowed to come up with their own ideas as well. Since everyone will be fine tuning the specific focus of their topics anyway, I will have conferences with each of them to discuss the topic they are planning to pursue. In this way I will be able to make sure they are all on the right track and be able to offer assistance to any students who might be struggling.

I will use peer review and conferences to keep my students on track and try to keep them engaged throughout the process of writing and revising, and I hope to be able to help them see that papers are crafted; they don’t emerge from the brain fully formed as soon as they hit the screen. This will be reinforced by regular check-ins and the ability to revise papers for a revised grade.

I also want to make my classes as multi-modal as possible. In all my classes I would like to include either twitter or tumblr (or both!) as forms of assessment and ways for the students to engage. It is important to me that students are given the opportunity to use the digital technologies available to improve their digital literacies as well as the more “standard academic” literacies that are expected in composition classes. In my composition classrooms I will include music, movies, and television shows in the list of texts we will examine. In my literature classes, I will discuss adaptation of texts in a variety of manners. In this way I hope to stress to my students that writing can take a variety of shapes.