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The Norton Flock: A Composition Community

Teaching ideas. Collaboration opportunities. Expert advice. Get plugged into the Norton Composition Community for upcoming events, workshops, blog posts, and more.

Get updates about upcoming events and details on how to sign up for them.

Recent Workshops
Getting Started with Resources for The Norton Field Guide to Writing, Sixth Edition

Norton composition specialist Elizabeth Pieslor will host an overview of the new and expanded resources available with The Norton Field Guide to Writing. Join us to get a jump start on preparing for Fall courses with the resources for the new edition. Elizabeth will share best practices for assigning adaptive activities in InQuizitive for Writers, fostering active reading in the interactive ebook, and incorporating the new Norton Teaching Tools instructor website. Feel free to bring questions to ask the Norton team.

Practical Strategies for Teaching Peer Review and Peer-Reviewed Articles: Incorporating Meta-Meetings and Students’ Expertise

Assigning peer review and peer-reviewed articles in first-year writing? Join this workshop for practical strategies you can use to promote a more effective and equitable exchange of peer feedback, foster academic literacy, and encourage students to see a future for themselves in scholarship. In this collaborative one-hour session, you will hear from:

• Brian Gogan, who will share a research-backed, equity-minded approach to peer review through the “Feedback Meta-Meeting” model. With examples and case studies from his department, Brian will outline the three-part structure of the model and provide concrete ways instructors can improve the effectiveness and equitability of peer review practice.

• Marianne Kunkel, who will then discuss how she helps students see the connections between sharing their writing with each other and the “peer-reviewed” box they check when searching library databases. In her hands-on activity, students write as experts on a chosen subject—from horror films to anime to making ramen—and then act out the roles that are part of the scholarly peer review process.

Engage, Energize, and Experiment: Writing Activities that Foster Belonging in the Composition Classroom

If you’re experiencing a sense of disconnection this semester—as an instructor from students, and students from each other—you’re not alone. Join instructors Deb Bertsch and Harun Karim Thomas as they share what they’ve recently been experimenting with in their first-year writing courses—and how they’ve used these activities to introduce students to personal writing, encourage discussion, and foster a sense of belonging. From “unlikely love letters” to self-written letters of recommendation and more, these class-ready ideas can easily be adapted for any course or modality.

And come celebrate your own experimentation! We encourage you to bring your favorite teaching ideas and activities to share in small-group breakouts at the end, before everyone returns for a final collaborative conversation moderated by Deb and Harun.

Featured Workshops
Writing & Research in an Age of Misinformation: An Online Lecture and Q&A with Andrea Lunsford (Stanford University)

In this virtual guest lecture for both students and instructors, Andrea Lunsford offers practical advice on how to identify misinformation and lies, how to examine and to understand personal biases as well as those of others, and how to engage respectfully with people who may hold views very different from our own—essential strategies for students of writing and rhetoric today.

Celebrating Student Voice: A Conversation and Q&A with the Judges of The Norton Writer’s Prize

Hosted by Melissa Goldthwaite (Saint Joseph's University), Africa Fine (Palm Beach State College), and Paul Butler (University of Houston)


How do you empower students as writers? How do you identify and celebrate outstanding writing by college writers? And what makes writing outstanding, anyway? Join us for an insider's look at how the judges of the Norton Writer’s Prize evaluate hundreds of nominations from instructors at two- year and four-year schools, and for a discussion more broadly about national trends in student writing and assignment design.

Highlights from Past Events

Want to learn more about using Norton Composition resources in your courses? Visit the links below to view available videos in each series.

Archived Events

“Keep Calm (and Compassionate)—Move Everything Online" with Shelley Rodrigo (University of Arizona), March 19, 2020

This webinar focuses on strategies for teaching writing online that keep instructors calm, cool, collected, and, most importantly, compassionate. Shelley Rodrigo shares a wide variety of online course activities and concrete suggestions that can immediately be used in an online writing course.

"Using InQuizitive for Writers in Your Course" with Garret Johnson (Lone Star College–CyFair), April 15, 2020

Garret Johnson shares his experience assigning InQuizitive, with special attention to how he incorporates it into his syllabus and how he would recommend making the most of the program in online courses.

"Selecting Readings and Sparking Dialogue in First Year Writing" with Russel Durst (University of Cincinnati) and (SUNY Cortland), April 27, 2021

A Q&A with Russel Durst and Laura Davies, coauthors of They Say / I Say with Readings and theysayiblog.

"Teaching Composition Online with Readers from Norton" with Thea Nicolaides (Hillsborough Community College), June 25, 2020

Thea Nicolaides shares strategies for teaching composition online, with special attention to how to incorporate more interactive resources available with Norton’s readers. She provides specific assignment ideas and demos activities from InQuizitive for Writers.

"Flexible Teaching for Fall with The Norton Field Guide" with Deborah Bertsch (Columbus State Community College), July 14, 2020

Join Deborah Bertsch for a lively overview of strategies for teaching flexibly and effectively with The Norton Field Guide to Writing. Longtime adopter and coauthor of the Instructor’s Guide for The Norton Field Guide, Deb also shares advice on incorporating more of the interactive resources.

"Preparing for Fall: Teaching with Everyone’s an Author" with Brittney Farrand (Folsom Lake College), July 24, 2020

Drawing on her background in instructional communication and online pedagogy, Brittney Farrand covers best practices for online teaching, advice on utilizing Norton resources to build curriculum, and a demo of InQuizitive for Writers and materials for learning management systems.

"Practical Strategies for Teaching Information Literacy and Research" with Laura Davies (SUNY Cortland) and Erin Ackerman (The College of New Jersey), November 12, 2020

Focusing on how to infuse information literacy skills into the first-year writing course and reframe research assignments, Laura J. Panning Davies and Erin Ackerman share course-ready activities designed to promote students’ development as critical thinkers, researchers, and writers.

“Strategies for Teaching First-Year Writing with ‘They Say / I Say’” with Kristie Boston (Lone Star College), July 29, 2021

The little book that does a lot for your course, “They Say / I Say” offers a range of options to engage students and build their confidence making the moves of academic writing, reading, and researching. Hear from Kristie Boston as she shares strategies from her 15 years of assigning the book.

“Strategies for Teaching First-Year Writing using Norton Resources for The Little Seagull Handbook and Let’s Talk” with Norton author Michal Brody and Dr. Raina Kostova (Jacksonville State University), August 10, 2021

To help instructors make the most of the resources available with these two titles, Michal and Raina offer suggestions for assigning InQuizitive for Writers—and its new activities—alongside LetsTalkLibrary and a learning management system.

“Strategies for Teaching First-Year Writing using Norton Readers and Resources” with Casey Ford (Lamar University), July 12, 2021

Learn more about how you can use your book’s resources to deliver a course in which students at varied levels of ability can design their own composition themes and maximize their engagement and learning with resources such as InQuizitive for Writers.

“An Inside Look at What's New in The Norton Field Guide" with authors Rich Bullock and Deb Bertsch, February 22, 2022

“Remix, Reflect, Think Rhetorically: Practical Strategies for Teaching Remix in First-Year Composition” with Deborah Bertsch (Columbus State Community College), October 21, 2021

Remixing—creating a new text by adapting, modifying, or transforming existing texts—is an important twenty-first-century composing process, and engaging in that process in first-year writing classes can help students develop greater rhetorical awareness and dexterity.

“Getting Started with Resources for The Norton Field Guide to Writing, Sixth Edition,” May 4, 2022

Norton composition specialist Elizabeth Pieslor will host an overview of the new and expanded resources available with The Norton Field Guide to Writing.

"Writing & Research in an Age of Misinformation: An Online Lecture and Q&A" with Andrea Lunsford (Stanford University), September 21, 2020

In this virtual guest lecture for both students and instructors, Andrea Lunsford offers practical advice on how to identify misinformation and lies, how to examine and to understand personal biases as well as those of others, and how to engage respectfully with people who may hold views very different from our own—essential strategies for students of writing and rhetoric today.

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Copyright © W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2021
(Bertsch Photo) Courtesy of Olivia Harris; (Durst Photo) Courtesy of Kathy Durst; (Davies Photo) Courtesy of John Austin Davies; (Devices) iStockPhoto.com/lvcandy; (Lunsford Photo) Courtesy of Andrea Lunsford