Reading and Writing in the Disciplines

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Reading and writing in the disciplines

Program Overview

Reading and Writing in the Disciplines is a new, in-person workshop and certificate series designed to meet the ongoing needs of reading and writing instruction for all disciplines. These workshops are all offered in-person and require a consultation and teaching artifact submission for completion. 

Reading and Writing in the Disciplines Certificates Awarded! 

Congratulations Dr. Ali Tayyeb (Nursing) Dr. Ashley Munger (Child and Family Development), and Dr. Xiaohan Mei (Criminal Justice), the first three faculty members to earn CETL’s new Reading & Writing in Disciplines Certificate! This Certificate acknowledges not only that faculty members have completed all six workshops in the Reading & Writing in Disciplines series, but that they have reflected on and adopted best practices for helping students with these vital skills. 

The workshops—which are offered repeatedly throughout the year and open to all faculty, including teaching assistants—cover evergreen topics such as giving feedback, addressing grammar, comprehending content, and dealing with plagiarism. But they also address newer principles that will help faculty members embrace their disciplinary authority and create writing assignments that matter. As Dr. Munger writes, “I really enjoyed participating in the workshops. It helped me to refine some of my current practices and develop some new ones. The feedback workshop was particularly impactful for me. Overall, I’d recommend the series to anyone.”

With the recent commendation of CETL as a national model for faculty professional development, this series offers one more way for Cal State LA educators to enhance their professional reputations while taking their teaching to the next level. So sign up for these and other amazing CETL workshops now! 

Reading and Writing in the Disciplines: New Certificate Program

Every year CETL receives many requests from faculty from all different disciplines for support and best practices on reading and writing instruction in their field. In response, our CETL Faculty Fellow for Reading and Writing, Dr. Margaret Finnegan, has helped us develop a new 6-workshop certificate program; these workshops will introduce you to best writing practices and provide tips for lightening the grading load. 

Dr. Finnegan has worked at Cal State LA for over 15 years and received her PhD in History from UCLA. Her work has appeared in American Quarterly, College Composition and Communication, The Los Angeles Times and other publications. She is also the author of Selling Suffrage: Consumer Culture and Votes for Women (Columbia University Press) and her middle-grade novel We Could Be Heroes is forthcoming from Atheneum Books for Young Readers. With her diverse experiences and scholarly practice, Margaret has honed the best and most practical strategies to approach reading and writing at the university level.

We strongly encourage any faculty who assigns reading or writing in their class to join us in this important work!

To complete the program and earn the certificate, faculty should expect to:

  • Attend and participate in all six workshops.
  • Incorporate best reading and writing practices into  your syllabus/course schedule.
  • Incorporate best reading and writing practices into ONE assignment.
  • Conference at least once with CETL staff about what you've done. 

Consults and Office Hours

To support faculty in completing this program Dr. Finnegan will hold weekly office hours in Spring 2020. Her hours will be Mondays from 3:15 pm to 4:15 pm all semester. You can also schedule an appointment with her or a CETL instructional designer by emailing us


Required Workshops & Descriptions 

Threshold Writing Concepts (prerequisite for all workshops in this series)

Threshold Writing Concepts

Threshold concepts get at the heart of not only what you know in a discipline, but how you think and act in one. Unpack key threshold writing concepts and learn how you can use them—paired with your disciplinary expertise--to help students with metacognition, transfer of knowledge and real-world writing situations.

Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours

Feedback that Counts

Feedback that Counts

Drowning in papers? Learn best practices for responding meaningfully to student writers without sacrificing your sanity or writing integrity. Please bring a student writing sample to practice on!

Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours

Not your Grandma’s Grammar Workshop

Not your Grandma's Grammar WorkshopTired of playing the grammar cop? Drawing on meta-analyses of grammar and writing instruction, this workshop shares tips and activities for helping students (and graders) deal with grammar demons.
Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours

Making Writing Matter

Creating Significant Writing AssignmentsResearch suggests that students find writing assignments meaningful when they foster personal agency, build social engagement, and provide opportunities for knowledge transfer. Learn how to design assignments that leverage these powerful factors and improve student learning. Please bring a writing assignment that you think might be ready for updating.
Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours

The Reading-Writing Connection

The Reading Writing Connection

Explore how reading and writing reinforce one another as you learn best practices for encouraging the kind of close, active reading skills students in all disciplines need to be successful.

Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours

Just the Facts

Working with EvidenceAre your students struggling with choosing and using evidence? We’ve got you covered. This workshop provides active-learning strategies for helping students identify credible sources, select relevant evidence, and integrate quotations, paraphrases and summaries into writing.
Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours

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Certificates & Transcripts

Have you completed all the workshops? Need to request your certificate or transcripts? 

Complete the CETL Faculty Development Transcript request form.