Why Teach with Starting Lines?

Publishing Starting Lines has also offered several advantages for faculty. The anthology provides a powerful supplement in that it makes available a ready supply of writing samples that include the range of forms and styles that students are expected to produce. Writing and Linguistics faculty who participate on the Editorial Board screen the entries, an activity which has had the added benefit of creating a venue for discussing the desired qualities in student writing and the assignments that generated them. Ultimately the anthology has contributed to a larger ongoing conversation about pedagogy and instructional strategies.


 Below, you will find an evolving set of pedagogical materials that you, as an instructor, can use for teaching with Starting Lines in your class.

This is an annotated list of materials, and you should also check the blog on the frontpage as well.

  • Christopher Dean, “Twelve Things You and Your Students Can do with the 2016 Issue of Starting Lines.”  This is a set of ten things that the co-editor of Starting Lines has done in Writing 1 and Writing 2 classes over the last nine years of using the text.  To download a PDF of these teaching ideas, click here.
  • Mashey Bernstein, “Keeping a Log on Readings of Essays from Starting Lines .”  This is an assignment that the legendary Mashey Bernstein, pictured below, uses with his Writing 1 students.  To download a copy of this assignment, click here.
Mashey B. and Peter W.
Mashey Bernstein with Award Winning Student Peter Wilson
  • Ingrid Bowman, “Five Devices Jigsaw Lesson.” This lesson is designed as a follow-up after each student has hand-written a summary in class. (Our summaries were about a variety of presentations, but they could be about readings, video clips or more). To see a blog post about this assignment, click here.
  • Ingrid Bowman, “Adverbs for Hedging .” This lesson helps students think about ways to hedge in academic pieces in creative and constructive ways.  To see a blog post about this assignment, click here.