ERIC Number: ED197356
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Taking the Writing Lab--and English Majors--Outside the University.
Smelstor, Marjorie; Tangum, Marion
Because the Texas Department of Human Resources (DHR) was demanding writing competency from its employees, and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) had a supply of competent writers in the form of undergraduate and graduate English majors, UTSA established a writing laboratory at the DHR. A three-credit course was developed to briefly train the intern students in writing for nonacademic audiences and to examine the concerns of writing instructors in the areas of writing process, aim and audience, voice, diction, and use of simple English. The initial writing lab, to which DHR employees could bring a piece of writing and receive individual tutoring, was not used by the employees, so the lab was adapted to the needs of a bureaucracy. A telephone "grammar hotline" brought many questions, and orientation sessions with successive small groups of employees helped to acquaint the UTSA students with the employees' specific writing needs. Effective letter writing, medical terminology, and simple English instead of bureaucratic jargon were some areas studied in the meetings. Three positive results came out of the program: improved writing by the DHR employees, their new awareness of language and ways to use it more effectively, and administrative approval for an expanded laboratory. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Laboratories
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (70th, Cincinnati, OH, November 21-26, 1981).