Are you teaching freshman level students? Is this one of the first college level courses your students have ever taken? Probably. That is why this English
Handbook is different (and we think better). Miles McCrimmon’s, The Flat World Knowledge Handbook for Writers is based on the understanding that
writing is at the center of the college experience, not just something students do on their way to ”higher-level“ coursework.
The Flat World Knowledge Handbook for Writers
supports the goal of acculturating entering students to the demands of college-level thinking and writing, whether that goal is being met through
coursework in Composition, Student Development, or some combination of the two. Miles shows students how to use writing as a portal for thinking and
learning and for communicating with the world. Its writing prompts and exercises encourage students to do a great deal of low-stakes, exploratory writing,
but also to experience gradually the rhetorical considerations of going public in a variety of genres and media. Through it all, students are asked to
reflect on their writing, exploring precisely how it functions depending on the rhetorical considerations of their voice, audience and purpose.
The Flat World Knowledge Handbook for Writers
is both a guide to college-level writing and thinking and a comprehensive college-level writing handbook. In Part 1, students will
identify and develop habits of mind they can use for success in college and life, and in Parts 2-4 and the Appendices, they will find the tools they need
to become better and more polished writers. Dig in deeper to the organization to see what we mean: The driving energy of Part 1 ("Composing Habits of
Mind") is the reciprocal relationship between thinking and writing. Students will use low-stakes, personal writing to identify, develop, and activate the
habits of mind they need for college-level thinking, then learn how to apply those habits to their high-stakes, public writing.
The first three chapters each focus on a different cluster of four related "habits of mind", while Chapter 4 focuses on the rhetorical demands of
demonstrating those habits in the presence of others.
("Writing to Think and Writing to Learn") activates the following habits of mind: examining the status quo; posing productive questions; slowing down your thinking; and withholding judgment.Students are exposed to a
variety of ways to use low-stakes writing as a gateway to deeper thinking, not so much as a stepping stone toward producing more audience-centered texts,
but more as a preliminary, meditative strategy to generate further questions. Habits of mind activated:
("Becoming a Reflective Practitioner") activates the following habits of mind:
developing a ”meta“ sense; attending to your own role in observation; reading texts carefully and critically; and nurturing curiosity, wonder, and
Students cultivate the ”meta“ sense as a crucial habit they must acquire and develop in order to succeed as college-level writers, readers, and thinkers.
They are also exposed to a variety of methods they can use to reflect productively about themselves, as well as about the texts they encounter and produce.
("Thinking through the Disciplines") activates the following habits of mind:
seeing and making connections; sustaining two ideas simultaneously; articulating multiple sides of an issue; and finding your place and purpose in the
Students come to understand that the disciplines they encounter in college, just as the occupations they will someday assume, are socially constructed and
negotiated. These disciplines have developed distinct conventions for writing, speaking, and making meaning that are under constant interrogation and
("Joining the Conversation") introduces students to what’s involved when low-stakes writing of the type produced in the first three chapters goes public
and finds a medium and genre. Systematically, students will explore the rhetorical stakes of writing for an instructor, small peer groups, larger units
like an entire class, and still broader audiences outside the confines of the academic setting. The rest of Miles’ handbook has the look and feel of a
comprehensive handbook, but with a few crucial differences.
Parts 2-4 and Appendix A and B
are consistently infused with the principles and habits of mind introduced in Part 1, with exercises designed to reinforce becoming a reflective practitioner, writing to think and learn, thinking through the disciplines, and joining the conversation.
The handbook portion also maintains the personable voice of a writing guide established in Part 1, rather than taking on the dry, pedantic tone of a
manual. Textboxes, graphics, web links to text, audio and video files, and samples of student work further enliven the handbook portion. Frequent
cross-indexing and internal linking between Part 1 and the rest of the book strengthens The Flat World Knowledge Handbook for Writers dual
function as a both a writing guide and a comprehensive handbook. We’ve rambled on enough about this handbook, it’s time for you to take a look.
Check out the table of contents in the tab above, or request a desk copy and peruse The Flat World Knowledge Handbook for Writers at your leisure.