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ULM English professor presents at writing conference

Published May 22, 2015

Dr. Mary Adams, associate professor of English and holder of the Endowed Professorship in English at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, presented at the 15th Annual Student Success in Writing Conference (SSWC) in Savannah, Ga.


The national conference was established in 1999 to promote the success of students in writing courses at the secondary and postsecondary levels.

Adams presented on the impact of specialized assignments for freshman writers. Her presentation, titled “Using Retention-Focused Assignments to Enhance First-Year Writing,” explained how a standardized, community-focused writing curriculum can have an impact on first-to-second year retention.

She discussed the curriculum she uses at ULM and shared data showing that composition and retention can join together in a mutually beneficial partnership.

“By incorporating retention-focused assignments into the composition curriculum, writing programs can prepare students for academic writing while building a sense of community on campus,” she said.

SSWC offers workshops and presentations on topics related to teaching writing. Their audience includes high school teachers, two-year and four-year college faculty, administrators, librarians, information specialists, and graduate students. The conference is sponsored by the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University.

Adams earned both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in English from ULM. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She has taught at ULM since 2003.