Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Publishing Students' Papers

Note: The National Council of Teachers of English was founded in 1911. The organization is celebrating its centennial. As part of this celebration, College English is publishing excerpts from its predecessor, the college edition of The English Journal. The excerpts are timely, a bit wordy and take their time to get to the point. However, I believe my readers will find them of interest. RayS.

Topic: Publishing Students’ Papers
Albert Morton Turner, “Publishing Freshman Themes.” Vol. 18 (March 1929), 242-43.

Quote: “Two ever present bugbears of Freshman English are the lack of any desire, on the part of students, to write and, when they are compelled to do so, their frequent tendency to regard themes as a mere field to show their proficiency—or the want thereof—in the use of commas and semicolons. In the effort to counteract these difficulties, the Freshman English staff at the University of Maine is publishing a series of leaflets composed of themes written during the current year, leaflets which are distributed to all the first-year students and which are discussed in class. At the beginning of the year, before their pockets have been depleted by purchasing textbooks and ice-cream cones, we collect the sum of twenty-five cents from each of our 425 Freshmen. With this sum we pay for the printing, from time to time, of the necessary number of copies of eight different leaflets, four in each semester…. Both bad and good themes are printed…. Bad themes, it should be observed are always printed anonymously; good ones, on the other hand, may appear with their authors’ names….” (742-43).

Title: “College English’s Precursor: Excerpts from the College Edition of The English Journal.” College English (November 2011), 157-191.

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