Congratulations to this year’s Intertext editorial staff and to Eileen Moeller on making exciting new changes to the magazine, and on reimagining its role in our teaching and learning processes.

The changes illustrate beautifully the new writing curriculum, the role of technology and design in communication, and the power of visual rhetoric. The space on each page for student annotation, as well as the IT Factors and writing hints provided by the editors, offer teachers wonderful ways to use the magazine in their courses.

When the teachers in the Writing Program redesigned WRT 105 and WRT 205 to focus on the practices of critical analysis, argument, and research, we hypothesized that these practices would be fundamental to what the writing students would do in their course work and in their professional and civic lives. We had high hopes for the kind of critical space the courses would open up.

What stays the same is the high quality of student writing. Congratulations to the student writers and their teachers for all that they have accomplished here. The essays are well-crafted and well-researched, diverse in form and topic, and compelling to read. All of the students have written with a real sense of authority.

That hope has been realized - and exceeded. In these essays students demonstrate what they can do with challenging assignments that ask them to link their personal experiences with significant disciplinary and cultural topics of inquiry:

• arguments about the politics of language and its interpretation by various individuals

• application of both first hand experiences and detailed research to cultural groups whose intricacies often elude outsiders

• analysis of how everyday objects profoundly affect our daily lives in ways we never imagine

• integration of various forms of sources to critique modern popular culture and make some surprising conclusions as to what this says about the society we live in

•intimate personal reflection and self analysis - perhaps the most difficult source of all to crack open

• making use of the latest technological advances on the world wide web to produce writing not necessarily meant for the printed page

 

Readers of Intertext will enjoy these essays, as they appreciate the language and follow the lines of analysis and argument and rethink their own assumptions. Teachers will be inspired as they plan their courses for next year.

More importantly, perhaps, is that these essays represent that level of professionalism and quality that student writers are capable of. Students using this magazine as a guide should find the high risks and chances taken by the writers of these essays an inspiration to think outside of the box and fulfill their full potential as writers.

This issue of Intertext is available in electronic format, so it is easy for teachers to download for use in their courses. We will surely use it for TA training in the fall.

Thanks to the staff and Eileen for all their imaginative hard work. We are proud of their success, inspired by the innovations, and pleased with how well this issue represents the work we all do.

Margaret Himley
Director of Undergraduate Studies
The Writing Program
Syracuse University

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