Showcase Your Student Writing
Composition Instructors: Showcase Your Student Writing!
Our program empowers its composition instructors to identify and to share excellent student writing within and beyond the
university community. As an instructor, you get to decide which essays best represents exemplary writing in your composition
courses! The Recoulley First Year Composition Showcase a great opportunity to reward and display your students’ work.
We know that often composition instructors come upon a piece of writing that stands out, lingers in the minds for days, and
influences our outlook and ways of seeing. Such examples of student writing should be showcased and shared with the university
community to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, instructors, and our composition program.
As teachers of composition, we know the demanding work of writing and the demanding work of teaching others to write! Accomplished
student writers and their writing instructors must be showcased to applaud the time intensive and hard work required to produce
The Composition Program wants all of its writing teachers to promote the Recoulley Showcase and strongly encourages each writing
instructor to select one student essay each semester for the Recoulley Composition Showcase.
The submission procedures are simple. Just do the following before or near the end of each semester:
- Obtain a rough draft and a final electronic copy of the student essay you want to showcase; maintain these items for your
- Get students to complete the Recoulley Showcasing Permission Form to allow the essay to be electronically published by
the composition program (download a copy of the permission form ).
- Place a hardcopy of the student essay and completed permission form in the Recoulley Showcase Coordinator’s campus mailbox.
Please actively contribute to this effort to showcase our students’ work and what you do in your composition class.
Getting Your Students Involved
There are numerous ways to help students get involved in showcasing their work:
- Begin by informing students of the showcase early in the semester. You may even want to hand out permission forms and
ask each student who is willing to let you place a paper in the contest to fill out the form. Getting the form signed is half
- Send students to pertinent pages on the Internet. Pique their interest.
- When you receive an excellent paper, write an endnote to the student writer suggesting that he/she submit his/her paper
for consideration in the showcase. (If you have already collected permission forms, write an endnote on the paper asking the
student to return it so that you can submit it to the contest.)
- On the last day of class, have students re-submit their work whether you need it for portfolio grading or not. You can
tell the students you will use their work to help you out in tight situations when a grade could go either way.
- Bring Recoulley Showcase permission forms to class and urge students who are proud of a piece of writing to enter.
- Students are often reluctant to take risks. Suggest to them that if they don't turn in a paper, they're in the same place
they would be if they turned it in and didn't win. They have already written the paper, so they might as well see if it will
earn them an award.
- Have your own showcase the last day of class. Have students interested in winning the "Best" writing awards for your class
read their essays to the class and then have the students take a private vote. You may even award some type of participation
credit or bonus credit for taking part in your showcase.
- Urge the winners of your showcase to submit their essays to the Recoulley Showcase. Have permission forms on hand.
- Submit papers for students when they feel strongly about them whether you believe the papers to be worthy or not. You may
be surprised by the results.
- Don't worry about whether you will be judged by the quality of the work. The readers do not know what paper came from what
class. The showcase is about the students, not about the teachers.
Probably the most important thing to remember is that once a student leaves your class without arranging to submit a paper
to the showcase, that paper will more than likely never be submitted.