Craig R. Medvecky

Creative Writer and English Teacher

Teaching Profile: Excellence

Composition & Rhetoric

Writing 100, Effective Writing

The syllabus reflects my adoption of The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing, Brief 7th Ed., which meshes well with course learning goals set at the program level. Students appreciate that the textbook places concrete parameters around the discipline, provides a measure of overt instruction, and functions as a resource to supplement lectures. The sample assignments reflect connect the core principles in the textbook--such as logos, ethos, and pathos--to the goals of critical and interpretative reading and writing in the context of Loyola's First-Year writing program. Course evaluations show that my teacher ratings consistently outperform both writing department and campus-wide averages in every category.

English 101, Written Communication I

Written Communication I at Cardinal Stritch University was an intensive introduction to college writing. The syllabus meets the uniform syllabus requirements of the English department and includes course goals developed at the program level. The sample assignments show a blend of situated and active learning strategies that reflect the emphasis of the university on the Franciscan value of civic engagement. The quantitative course evaluations show that my teacher ratings outperform both English department and campus-wide averages in every category.

Creative Writing

English 234, Writing Fiction: Structure and Technique

The syllabus reflects my exploration of collaborive writing exercises as a means to build student confidence and create a sense of shared responsibility in a workshop-driven classroom. My sample assignments include both analytical and creative exercises that bridge the department outcomes and course goals, while the course evaluations positively reflect on the engaging and participatory atmosphere of the class. At the same time, the students note a level of enjoyable rigor and challenge appropriate to a course intended for creative writing majors.

English 233, Introduction to Creative Writing

This syllabus introduces students to a wide range of periods, genres and forms. Each unit aims to allow ample space to both absorb and explore the emerging relationships between methodology and product. The sample assignments include not only instructions and prompts but also suggestions for getting started and cues for what to bring back to the discussion. Course evaluations show that students felt confident enough to leave their comfort zones and connect productive play with critical and creative thinking. For many the course was a site of self-discovery.

Literary Studies

English 263, Introduction to the Novel

Paranoid Literature: The American Post-War Novel from 1945-2000 challenges students to consider how and why American literature matters in social space. The syllabus reflects an accessible reading list combined with a powerful, yet comprehensible, theoretical lens. Philip Roth, Carl Freedman, Ralph Ellison, and Ihab Hassan help articulate a working theory of paranoia in the historical context of post-war America. The assignments not only ask students to engage with the reading but to deepen their understanding of dsciplinary writing conventions. Active learning techniques including group activities and forensic debates provide the students with hands-on experience of the formal and conceptual complexity of the period. In the course evaluations students report that they not only learned to make meaningful connections between literature and social events but also that they developed greater ability to express critical thoughts within the discourse of the subject matter.

English 224, American Writers

American Writers: The Novel From 1900-Present surveys more than a century of cultural development in the novel. The syllabus represents a strong commitment to diversity and balance while presenting the major theoretical divisions of the period in Modernity and postmodernism. The assignments use on-line discussion blogs to integrate classroom activities and pre-writing for the term paper. Each provides a clear rubric for success, based on a view of writing within the discipline as an integral part of the course content. Course Evaluations demonstrate the effectiveness of my efforts at preparing students to participate productively in a lively large group discussion.