This text helps developing writers in the academy and beyond think through their writing process and develop strategies for styling their writing to meet the demands of a wide range of goals.
The book imagines writing as an assortment of "outfits"— bundles of styles and strategies through which one approaches a writing purpose, such as writing focused on experimentation and growth or writing focused on a professional task. By assessing the outfits writers feel most and least confident in, and examining how to be more at home in the outfits that matter to them, this book helps students develop both specific skills and their overall identity as writers. Readers are guided through before-, during-, and after-writing strategies and techniques, including: freewriting, outlining, visual planning, and composing in multimodal forms. Readers are also introduced to the importance of setting clear writing goals and sharing their work in a variety of ways, both in preparation for classroom success through peer review and writing center visits, and beyond the classroom in virtual and in-person spaces.
This book serves as a core or supplemental text for writing courses at the undergraduate, graduate, or high school level, or as a writing guide for individual readers.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Does it Mean to Style Your Writing?
Chapter 1: Finding Your Style
Chapter 2: Getting Comfortable with Writing: Comfy Pajamas
Chapter 3: Getting Creative with Writing: Paint and Garden Clothes
Chapter 4: Building Your Writing Plan: Workout Gear
Chapter 5: Getting Focused with Writing: Professional Wear
Chapter 6: Approaching Writing from a Different Angle: Adventure Outfits
Chapter 7: Blending Styles to Enhance Your Writing Across Situations
Jen McConnel is an assistant professor of English education at Longwood University. Her research focuses on supporting teachers and students and centering their voices across contexts.
"Not all writing experiences are the same and McConnel invites readers into writing their way. Using student perspectives, promising writing practices, and a dash of personality she gives readers permission to move beyond traditional college-level writing. Styling Your Writing is a gem that encourages writers to honor their voice in order to find a writing style for every occasion." - Andy Schoenborn, co-author of Creating Confident Writers: For High School, College, and Life
"Styling Your Writing is a ‘Show and Tell’ for the new academic writer. McConnel shows readers how to find their academic voice by modelling her journey as a writer and sharing clever practices that empower an authentic academic voice." - Christopher DeLuca, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Professor, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University
"McConnel embraces writing as an emotional and social process of self-expression. The activities she suggests will empower writers to try new strategies for beginning and sustaining their writing process, all while keeping their specific situation, needs, and style in mind. I strongly recommend this book to writers looking for a personalized approach to developing their craft." - Mandie Bevels Dunn, Assistant Professor of English Education, University of South Florida
"Through the application of engaging and relatable contexts and frames, Jen invites writers to think about the process metaphorically and prepare to wear it well. New and experienced writers alike will gain confidence and deepen their skills by seeing their work in an entirely new and yet, delightfully familiar way." - Angela Stockman, Author, Teacher, and Professional Learning Service Provider
"In Styling your Writing, Jen McConnel has created an innovative, engaging, and accessible resource for student writers. The connection McConnel establishes between writing and stylistic looks will help writers think deeply about what writing means for them while facilitating their continued development as writers. As I engaged with the ideas in this text, I found myself developing a greater understanding of myself as a writer—this understanding was a direct product of McConnel’s insightful approach. I am extremely excited to share this resource with the student writers I teach. I believe that writers of a variety of experience levels can significantly benefit from this book." – Sean Ruday, Associate Professor of English Education at Longwood University
"Styling Your Writing speaks to the heart of writing and is a necessary companion to inspire writers to achieve their own writing style and find joy in writing. This style guide for writing shares ready-to-use strategies for a variety of writing types, narratives from students, and tips to navigate through all parts of the writing process. Teaching writing can be tough, but. McConnel shifts away uneasiness and hesitation while making even Academic writing meaningful and personal." --Ashley Walker, High School Assistant Principal and President of Virginia Association of Teachers of English
"All writers struggle to find their voice. In Styling Your Writing, Jen McConnel brings her sensibilities as a writer, a teacher of writing, and a fashionista to help others "change their writing outfit" from casual to formal and everywhere in between. While I don't pretend to be a trendsetter, I do understand what happens when we try on new strategies, and McConnel's approach to style one's writing will fit both teachers and students well." - Troy Hicks, Professor of English and Education at Central Michigan University and co-author of Creating Confident Writers
"McConnel’s voice and personality shine through in this text! It is an engaging read that breaks down barriers that impede writing tasks with the use of a clever metaphor: getting dressed. With heartfelt emphasis on encouraging writers to explore their identity, I particularly loved the ’style quiz’ for readers. After a particularly tumultuous time for teaching and teachers, this book will help you refresh your (writing) wardrobe!"- Pauline Skowron Schmidt, Associate Professor, English Education at West Chester University and Director of the West Chester Writing Project