The Thesis Statement as The Key to Unlock Essay Writing

by Julia Lewandoski, History Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 After several semesters as a GSI and Reader for history classes, it has become clear to me that a concise, clear, and specific thesis statement is essential to a successful student paper. Developing a strong thesis statement enables students to frame Continue Reading >>

Translating from Shakespeare to Modernism: An Experiment in How Form Affects Meaning

by Marianne Kaletzky, Comparative Literature
One of the core principles of literary analysis is that the form of literature — the language an author uses, the way he or she structures the text, and the stylistic conventions he or she employs — means as much as the content. … I wanted to help my students not only to become more attentive to formal features, but also to understand why those formal features matter … To cultivate this understanding, I decided to give my students an unconventional writing assignment …

Becoming Your Own Dictionary: Increasing Participation and Communicative Confidence through Semiotic Brainstorming

by Emily A. Hellmich, French (Home Department: Education)
I realized that while my students did have passionate opinions as well as a desire to communicate them, they hesitated: not knowing one specific word represented an insurmountable barrier to them that shut down communication and sent them running to a more expert resource… I led the students in the creation of a “semiotic brainstorm” meant to show them not only just how much French they already knew but also to detail, step-by-step, one way to access this knowledge in communication.

A Voice in the Sciences

by Ryan Steele, Chemistry
I had to humbly undergo a transformation that allowed me to let the students’ discussion guide the session. Frankly, I had to shut up. Letting students speak and make mistakes does not mean conceding control of the classroom or the teacher’s sense of authority.

‘Telling’ Tales: The Quest for Meaning in Indian Folklore

by Vasudha Paramasivan, South and Southeast Asian Studies
To my class, it seemed almost irreverent to read into such marvelous tales, prosaic explanations of power struggles and gender discrimination. While their skepticism was welcome, I had to find some way of addressing their resistance to the idea that there could be meaning and purpose behind folkloric narratives.

Giving a New Tune to Grammar

by Hélène Bilis, French
I discovered that music was a way of drumming (so to speak) grammar into students while teaching them about the rich diversity of contemporary French culture and some of the concomitant issues usually completely absent from grammar books. But, most importantly, teaching grammar through contemporary music dramatically changed the atmosphere in the classroom.

A New Way to Appreciate Cicero’s Style

by Yelena Baraz, Classics
I was used to students complaining about Cicero’s personality, but in the past, when we were reading the speeches in the original, I could combat their irritation by getting them to appreciate the stylistic accomplishment, the beauty and the polish of the Latin. This time, though, Cicero wasn’t able to help me.

Mathematics: The Universal Language of Science

by Antar Bandyopadhyay, Statistics
The most important part was to make the students realize that what they were learning was not just some abstract nonsense but, some part of an universal language, which would give them necessary skills to “communicate” among themselves irrespective of their backgrounds and interests.

Chemistry: The ‘Other’ Foreign Language

by Joel Thornton, Chemistry
Problem solving requires a vocabulary of the necessary equations and conceptual approaches, and I would drill the students on the equations and concepts discussed in lecture that week. My drills were in the form of quiz-show games, relay races, student vs. student competitions, anything to avoid the inherent boredom that comes with performing rote tasks.