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The 2017 Seventeenth Annual UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) celebrates student scholarly achievement and creative activities. Students from all disciplines participate in the URS. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances. 

Presentations are accompanied by discussions and multimedia.


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Saturday, April 22 • 3:50pm - 4:10pm
Writing from the Inside Out: Diversity and Writing Instruction

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The first year writing classroom is the stepping stone from which students embark on their journey to acquire an academic discourse, the type of specialized language used by professors and researchers. But what path should we take to enable students to use that language fluently in their own fields? Some composition studies scholars argue that students should write academically from the beginning, but others argue that while students do need academic discourse, they also need more familiar kinds of writing—like the types of writing seen in their communities in newspapers or novels, or the types that are deeply personal, like a journal. At this point, while the latter types of expressive assignments are still given, almost every college level writing instructor focuses on academic assignments. However, as students of increasingly diverse backgrounds are welcomed into higher education, I will argue that a model of writing education focused exclusively on academic discourse, the single destination of our path, doesn’t quite fit; in fact, it hasn’t ever fit the needs of all students. My research into the works of composition studies scholars combines both the history of writing instruction and professional takes on the field today to show that underprivileged groups have used expressive and non-academic writing instruction to gain power in the past, and that we can help to empower every student by increasing the use of these same tools in writing instruction in the future.


Saturday April 22, 2017 3:50pm - 4:10pm
John Q. Imholte Hall, Room #112 600 E 4th St., Morris MN 56267