If You Absolutely Must (version 1.1) – An ebook About Making It As a Writer

This ebook is a collection of practical, practicable advice for inexperienced writers, in the hopes that their journeys might be a little smoother than mine has been. Much of the content here is previously-published material, but there is a good deal of new stuff too, and it has been extensively reworked. This project stemmed from a simple love of writing and writers and a sincere desire to make life a little easier for people who want to pursue the craft. You can download the .pdf here.

The ebook is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, which means that you may download it and share it as you see fit, but may not alter or use it for commercial purposes. The ebook is free, but if you would like to tip me for my efforts, you may do so here.

New America Foundation – Standardized Tests of College Learning: Past and Future

My white paper for the New America Foundation on standardized assessments of college learning. It’s worth stating that the expected large-scale adoption of such assessments in higher ed did not come to pass, as a wave of anti-test sentiment swept the country. But I think the paper has a lot of important information regardless and draws heavily on my dissertation, which also inspired my first book.

© 2016 New America Foundation

My Dissertation – The CLA+ and the Two Cultures: Writing Assessment and Educational Testing

My dissertation, proposed in May of 2014 and defended in April 2015, concerns the Collegiate Learning Assessment+, a standardized test of college learning that (at the time) used a written response model to arrive at scores. The CLA+ was part of a then-burgeoning effort to require testing for graduating seniors nationally in order to combat increasing scrutiny on the educational value of college. Then-Purdue President Mitch Daniels, former Republican governor of Indiana, was pushing to make taking the CLA+ a graduation requirement of all Purdue seniors. At the time, this was where all the momentum was. Ultimately, that momentum fizzled as underlying political conditions (in particular the rise of Trumpism) changed the contours of American culture war. My dissertation was an attempt to place the CLA+ in both a local and national context, and to use its potential adoption as a lens through which to understand the longstanding tension between writing education and standardized assessments of learning.