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Headshot of Neal Lerner

Professor of English

Neal Lerner teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing and the teaching of writing. Lerner is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the history, theory, and practice of learning and teaching writing, and is a five-time recipient of the International Writing Centers Association Outstanding Scholarship Award. His book The Idea of a Writing Laboratory won the 2011 NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English. He is also the co-author of Learning to Communicate as a Scientist and Engineer: Case Studies from MIT, winner of the 2012 CCCC Advancement of Knowledge Award, and co-author of The Longman Guide to Peer Tutoring, 2nd ed. With Michele Eodice and Anne Ellen Geller, he is the co-author of The Meaningful Writing Project: Learning, Teaching, and Writing in Higher Education, and his latest book is Reformers, Teachers, Writers: Curricular and Pedagogical Inquiries.

View CV
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication Award for best poster at the annual conference, “The Meaningful Writing Project: A Grounded Theory Approach to Identifying What’s Meaningful to Students and Faculty,” (with Anne Ellen Geller & Michele Eodice) 2015
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication Writing Program Certificate of Excellence, (with Writing Program colleagues) 2014/15
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication Award for Advancing Knowledge for Communicating in Science and Engineering: Case Studies from MIT, 2012
  • National Council of Teachers of English David H. Russell Award for Outstanding Research for The Idea of a Writing Laboratory, 2011
  • International Writing Centers Association Outstanding Scholarship Award for The Idea of a Writing Laboratory, 2009
  • Lerner, Neal. “Remembering Roger Garrison: Composition Studies and the Star-Making Machine.” Ed. Bruce McComiskey. Microhistories of Composition. Logan, UT: Utah State U P, 2016. 218-37.
  • Lerner, Neal. “Writing is a Way of Enacting Disciplinarity.” Naming What We Know. Eds. Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle. Logan: Utah State U P, 2015. 40-41.
  • Lerner, Neal. “The Unpromising Present of Writing Center Studies: Author and Citation Patterns in Writing Center Journal, 1980-2009.” Writing Center Journal 34.1 (2014): 67-102.
  • Lerner, Neal, and Mya Poe. “Writing and Becoming a Scientist: A Longitudinal Qualitative Study of Three Science Undergraduates.” Applied Linguistics and Literacies for STEM: Founding Concepts, Methodologies and Research Projects. Eds. Mary Jane Curry and David I. Hanauer. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2014. 43-63.
  • Lerner, Neal. “Writing Center Pedagogy.” Guide to Composition Pedagogies, 2nd ed. Eds. Gary Tate, Kurt Schick, Amy Rupiper Taggart, and Brooke Hessler. New York: Oxford U P, 2014. 301-316.
  • The Idea of a Writing Laboratory (Southern Illinois U P, 2009)
  • Learning to Communicate in Science and Engineering: Case Studies from MIT (with Mya Poe & Jennifer Craig, MIT Press, 2010)
  • The Longman Guide to Peer Tutoring (with Paula Gillespie, Longman, 2007)
  • After ‘The Idea of a Writing Center.’” (with Elizabeth Boquet, College English, 2008)
  • Rejecting the Remedial Brand: The Rise and Fall of the Dartmouth Writing Clinic.” (College Composition and Communication, 2007)
  • Laboratory Lessons for Writing and Science.” (Written Communication, 2007)
  • Drawing to Learn Science: Legacies of Agassiz.” (Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 2007)

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Course catalog
  • Explores how writers apply narrative strategies and techniques to factual material. Offers students an opportunity to read and write a variety of nonfiction forms (e.g., narrative essays and narrative journalism, travel and science writing, memoir, editorials, protest and political essays), as well as cross-genre and hybrid forms (e.g., nonfiction prose mixed with poetry, audio and graphic nonfiction). The topics for narrative nonfiction writing apply to a wide array of disciplines, including the humanities, the sciences, and journalism.

  • ENGL7392 engages MA and PhD students in the theory, practice, and praxis of teaching writing at the university level, drawing on recent scholarship in rhetoric and writing studies. We will explore theories and practices regarding the nature of written expression; the role of diversity, inclusion, and equity in writing instruction; the research on how people learn to write and how that writing might be assessed; the historical contexts for required writing in US higher education; the nature of multimodal composing; and the environments and activities best help students learn writing. The goal is for each graduate student to develop a coherent position on the teaching of writing, along with practical teaching materials that can be employed at Northeastern and elsewhere.