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Three from UWPlatteville to present freshman writing paper
Using primary sources to be explored
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Three members of the UW–Platteville freshman writing program will present their research at the College Composition and Communication Conference in Tampa, Fla., March 18–21.

Presenters include Dr. James Romesburg, director of freshman composition, and English lecturers Angela Jones and Yasmin Rioux.

The CCCC is a professional organization for researching and teaching composition at the college level, both in undergraduate and graduate programs. The theme of the conference is “Risk and Reward.”

Their accepted proposal, Primarily Curious: Using Archival and Primary Sources to Stimulate Intellectual Curiosity among First-Year Composition Students, addresses the problem of getting students interested in doing their own research beyond the traditional model of note cards, bibliographies, outlines and databases by having them work with primary sources located in the UW–Platteville Southwest Wisconsin Room.

The goal is for students to gain exposure to hands-on research methods that require them to make their own interpretations of artifacts — interpretations that students will then complement by consulting secondary sources such as scholarly journals and books.

“Dr. Romesburg and his colleagues are doing an excellent job,” said Dr. Terry Burns, chair of the department of humanities at UW–Platteville. “When you have the director of composition and two new lecturers working together to produce such high caliber scholarship based directly on how they’re teaching our freshman writers, and that work is accepted at the national conference, you know your program is moving in the right direction.”

Burns will be part of a panel at the conference, supporting and, in her words, complicating the research another professional in her field has completed for a forthcoming monograph describing writing instruction nationally, Writing Instruction, Support, and Administration at the State University: A Comparative Review and Report of 106 U.S. Representative Institutions.

Burns also will be part of a roundtable discussion, “State University Student of Writing Programming: Bird’s Eye View with Local Contextualization.” Panel members will discuss how local infrastructure does or does not support first year writing programs. UW–Platteville’s writing program was part of the study.