News & Announcements

Susan Kay Miller Elected to WPA Executive Board

The CWPA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the election of Susan Kay Miller from Mesa Community College (AZ) to membership on the CWPA Executive Board. Susan will be serving in the position left open by Cynthia Martin's resignation. Her term will end June 30, 2007.

Professor Miller is a full-time faculty member in the English department at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona, where she teaches writing, linguistics, and English as a second language. She is especially interested in two-year college writing programs, second language writers, and effective ways of incorporating technology into writing instruction. She currently serves as the chair of the Composition Committee in her English department, a group which recently led a successful three-year effort to revise the previous, current-traditional first-year composition curriculum with a rhetorically-based approach inspired by the WPA Outcomes Statement. The new curriculum was adopted throughout the Maricopa Community College District in April 2005 and will affect over 80,000 students district-wide. The success of this effort has encouraged the Composition Committee to lobby for a permanent WPA at Mesa Community College, a position which has never existed in any of the English departments in the district.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Computer Grading - homebrewed

Story out of Columbia, MO:
A sociology prof has designed "SAGrader" software to cut down on redundant comments he has to make on student papers. He got NSF funding to develop it. Check out the "sophisticated" feedback the program can give students (after the prof manually programs the program).

Hopefully the below link will work -- it's an AP story linked on Netscape News.

Dennis Baron's Chronicle of Higher Ed column on the SAT writing exam

In case people missed it, here's a link to Dennis Baron's post to WPA-L that includes the column he wrote on the new SAT writing exam for the Chronicle of Higher Ed.:

Executive Board vote to approve the NMA framework on Plagiarism

Hi, Board Members:

The voting for the approval of the NMA plagiarism framework is ready:

To vote, you need to log in with your username and password. If you haven't modified your account yet, your username was originally set to be your email address (case sensitive, and exactly as you see it written when you receive system notifications, if you have). You will need that or your email address in case you lose your passwor. Here's what the system thinks your username is:


The vote will expire in 4 days. Only WPA Board members can vote.


Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Yankton Press and Dakotan Story on Machine Grading

Saturday, April 30, 2005 Story last updated at 12:32 AM on Apr. 30, 2005 Teachers Look To Computers To Critique Student Writing By: By MATT SEDENSKY Associated Press Writer Is at Reports on Ed Brent's SAGrader. Brent is in the Sociology Department at University of Missouri-Columbia. Here's a relevant excerpt:
Final papers are still handled by Brent and his two teaching assistants, but students are encouraged to use the professor's SAGrader program to give them a better shot of earning an A. "I don't think we want to replace humans," Brent said. "But we want to do the fun stuff, the challenging stuff. And the computer can do the tedious but necessary stuff."

Creating Content at Digital WPA


Each week during the rollout of our new Digital WPA website, I want to make you aware of some ways that you can make use of the site to network with WPA members, create and manage content, and make use of the resources already available.

This week, I wanted to encourage you to read, review, and respond to a student-created documentation project that will show WPA members how to post content at the WPA site. A message inviting feedback has been posted to the site here:

The students would love to hear your feedback: suggestions for improving the documentation, praise, encouragement, or any other thoughts you might have. You can add your comments to this post or send feedback directly to the students. They've done a terrific job (and especially so, considering this is a first draft for public review). They have asked some good questions, also. The documentation itself is here:

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

WPA Story Posting Documentation

Greetings WPA website users!

I am part of a group of students here at Purdue University working to develop documentation on how to post stories to this website.

My group and I would be greatly appreciative if you would take a few moments to look at our documentation and note your opinions.

You can find the website at:

Some questions you might use as guidelines are:

  1. The placement of images can vary in relation to the text depending on the user’s computer system. How do you feel about the image placement you have seen?
  2. Did you find the steps logical and easy to follow?
  3. Were there any unnecessary screenshots or places where screenshots were needed?
  4. Was there any confusion as to which screenshot corresponds to which step.
  5. Did you think there were any unnecessary steps?
  6. Please let us know any additional comments/suggestions.

We would like very much to hear your input, be it criticism or praise. Feel free to post a comment to this post, or you can also email us at