Users of Expressions and Inquiry will note that it has three major sections—Section One which primarily focuses on the nuts and bolts of writing, otherwise known as Rhetoric and Composition, important to get writers started with the process of writing and also considering what their point or claim is. This section shares ideas about expressing ideas and is primarily derived from the Wiki Book on Rhetoric and Composition. Section Two continues to discuss academic writing including research and other inquiry methods as well as analysis and blends more of the previously cited Wiki Book and Shane Abram’s EmpoWord: A Student Centered Anthology and Handbook for College Writers. It also includes some examples from students at Lansing Community College and more discussion about thinking deeply about writing and techniques. Finally, Section Three Narrative and Description, is primarily based on Shane Abram’s EmpoWord. We circled back to the techniques of description and narration because we believe these techniques are needed to engage readers and develop voice in all writing. We hope all of this will help students in the Composition courses we teach and beyond.
As we developed Expressions and Inquiry we laughingly called it a Franken-text because it is an Open Educational Resource (OER) made up of parts of other textbooks. We hoped it wouldn’t be monstrous, but that other writing instructors and their students and ours will find our remix helpful, and we know we learned a lot as we remixed and worked together. We encourage others to collaborate and develop their own products and explore the world of open source texts, and we used this for the first time Spring Semester 2019 with slight modifications in May afterwards.
We are grateful to the Lansing Community College Board for funding the initiative that incentivized us to move from using existing OER’s to re-mixing and writing our own. We would also like to thank Regina Gong LCC’s (OER) Project Manager who helped us learn about licensing and encouraged our work on this project. Grace Ryder, a student aide in our department designed our cover art, worked on the accessibility portion of the text, and helped to make our text look like a book. Lydia Warnke, Support person in Integrated English, who helped us work on accessibility issues and formatting the entire text consistently. We learned a lot while doing this project. We hope our student and faculty readers are encouraged to express themselves in writing and inquire about the topics and the world around us as they read this text.