Composition Reading Bank: Education

An Open Educational Resource for Composition Courses

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Barry, Lynda. "Sanctuary"  infoIn her 1992 column, Barry narrates her experiences as a young person who looks to her school—the staff, teachers, and her art class, in particular) for solace from her lonely, unstable life at home. She calls for a commitment to funding for before- and after-school programs as well as for “art, music, and all creative activities.” (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Descriptive; Persuasive)

Bauer-Wolf, Jeremy. "Overconfident Students, Dubious Employers."  infoIn his 2018 article from Inside Higher Ed, Bauer-Wolf discusses the gaps between prospective employees and employers' expectations of whether or not the prospective employees (in particular, recent graduates) have the skills needed for the job (particularly related to perceptions of soft skills like critical thinking). (Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

Bickerstaff, Allison. "Easy as ABC?"  infoTasked to learn about her future profession, student Allison Bickerstaff profiles a kindergarten teacher and integrates research to gain further understanding of what it’s like being an elementary teacher in 2018. (First-and Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Descriptive; Career/Person Profile)

Briceno, Eduardo. "The Power of Belief: Mindset and Success" [YouTube Video]  infoBriceno argues for the benefits of a growth mindset over a fixed mindset (based on the work of Stanford professor Carol Dweck, Pd.D.) for achieving success. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive; TEDTalk video)

Bunn, Mike. "How to Read Like a Writer"  infoBunn discusses several strategies for how to read like a writer and why such a practice is important for composition students who wish to understand a text in deeper ways, beyond just content. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Expository; Persuasive)

"College, Inc." [Video]  infoThis 2010 Frontline video describes how the influx of for-profit universities across the nation creates appealing, but costly opportunities for many. A Transcript of the video, and a Teacher's Guide are also available. (First-, Second-, and Third-Person Perspective; Investigative Report; Video)

Dubick, James, Brandon Mathews, and Clare Cady. "Hunger on Campus: The Challenge of Food Insecurity for College Students"  infoThis is the executive summary of a research report of a 34-campus study of students' food insecurity. The full 47-page report is also available on the page. (Third-Person Perspective; Executive Summary / Research Report)

Duckworth, Angela Lee. "Grit: The Power of Perseverance" [TED Talk]  infoDuckworth argues for the importance of “grit” or “perseverance” over other factors in terms of what will indicate future success. She connects this idea to the work of Stanford professor Carol Dweck, Pd.D. regarding the importance of a growth mindset. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive; TED Talk video)

Dweck, Carol. "The Perils and Promises of Praise"  infoDweck, the pioneer of growth mind-set, discusses the negative issues that arise when children are praised for their intelligence rather than on their process. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive)

Fenton, William. "Tackling Slavery in the Classroom With a Graphic Novel and an App"  infoFenton describes how a high school history teacher worked to bring history to life for his students by collaborating with them to create a graphic novel available by app. (Second- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive)

Franklin, Benjamin. "Learning to Write"  infoIn this excerpt from his Autobiography, Franklin describes how he expanded his writing skills, created time and energy to study more, and learned and practiced various modes of argument to use when debating with his peers. (First-Person Perspective; Memoir)

Gaiman, Neil. "Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming"  infoGaiman argues for imaginative and enjoyable reading material and access to reading material through libraries. (First-Person Perspective; Persuasive; Lecture)

Graff, Gerald. "Hidden Intellectualism"  infoGraff makes a surprising case for finding arguments and intellectualism beyond traditional academic literacies. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

"Growing Your Mind" [YouTube Video]  infoThis very short video is a primer on growth mindset. (First-, Second-, and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; YouTube video)

Hartley, Deanna. "Creative Ways to Get Noticed by Employers on Social Media"  infoIn this short blog post from, Hartley offers job-seekers ideas about how to leverage social media to their advantage. (Second- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive; Blog post)

"How Bad Are the Public Schools? Is There a Crisis?"  infoThis series of interviews from PBS’s Frontline documentary series describes the socio-economic disparity of education in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century. Note to users: Certain elements of this article may not load properly, so users are urged to use Reader View. (First-, Second-, and Third-Person Perspective; Interview; Expository; Persuasive)

Lemaster, Austin. "Throw the Notebook at the Wall: What Writing Can Do to the Average Student"  infoPublished in the journal Stylus in 2012, Lemaster, a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, presents the results of research and reflection on the relationship between writing and psychological states. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Expository)

Lyssy, Nikki and Jill Talbot. "On Blindness and the Teaching of Form in Essays"  infoLyssy and Talbot use a dual-author form to describe the experience of a teacher and a blind student in a writing class. (First-, Second-, and Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Descriptive; Two-Author Dialogue)

"Neuroplasticity" [YouTube Video]  infoThis short video illustrates how the brain is "adaptable, like plastic," thus allowing us all to be lifelong learners. (Second- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; YouTube video)

Nolan-Ferrell, Catherine. "Balancing Classroom Civility and Free Speech"  infoIn response to the question: "How do we navigate a world where many in society have lost trust in shared data?" Nolan-Ferrell argues that while people may disagree about how to interpret evidence, that shouldn’t lead to a belief in “alternative facts,” or a denial that facts or evidence exist. She provides examples of working through helping students discuss difficult, heated topics. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive)

Raja, Tasneem. "Is Coding the New Literacy?"  infoRaja explores the history of learning to write, the difference between computer literacy and coding, as well as the need for women in the STEM fields, to argue that coding should be taught to children. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive)

Saujani, Reshma. "Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection" [TED Talk]  infoSaujani describes how growth mindset impacts gender construction. She runs a nonprofit called "Girls Who Code" which works to increase women in tech. (First-, Second-, and Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive; TED Talk video)

Scudder, Samuel. "Take This Fish and Look at It"  infoIn this personal narrative Scudder details experiences as a new student of natural history in the mid-1800s when his professor asks him to examine and describe a fish. (First-Person Perspective; Narrative; Descriptive; Memoir)

Toastmasters International. "Five Tips for Public Speaking" [YouTube Video]  infoThis five-minute video gives clear and helpful tips to help students gain better presentation skills. (First- and Second-Person Perspective; Expository; YouTube video)

Urban, Tim. "Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator" [TED Talk]  infoIn this funny video, Urban describes the perils of procrastination and the lessons the speaker has learned. He encourages the listener to take control of and manage the 168 hours the week offers. (First- and Second-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive; TEDTalk video)

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D., and Michael W. Smith. "The Power of Pleasure Reading: What We Can Learn from the Secret Reading Lives of Teens"  infoWilhelm and Smith conduct a study of eighth graders and argue for the importance of pleasure reading in schools; from their study they create multiple categories of this type of reading. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

Wood, Sarah. "Recent Graduates Lack Soft Skills, New Study Reports"  infoWood reflects on a study that shows the prevalence of the belief that current graduates lack important "soft skills" necessary for future success in their careers; the article reflects on the importance of "soft skills" and hypothesizes on possible reasons for the current lack. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

Wyman, Nicholas. "Hiring Is On The Rise, But Are College Grads Prepared For The World Of Work?"  infoWyman presents research that suggests that high school students need more “career readiness” such as better development of critical thinking and interpersonal skills and early exposure to the workforce. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository)


Except where otherwise indicated, the Composition Reading Bank by Rachel Brooks-Pannell, Shawn Casey, Rebecca Fleming, and Nick Lakostik at Columbus State Community College is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This license does not extend to the contents of external web pages.


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