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Headshot of Neal Lerner

Chair and Professor of English

Neal Lerner teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on writing, literacy, teaching/tutoring writing, and creative nonfiction. He is the author of The Idea of a Writing Laboratory, which won the 2011 NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English, and the co-author of The Longman Guide to Peer Tutoring, 2nd ed., and Learning to Communicate in Science and Engineering: Case Studies from MIT, winner of the 2012 CCCC Advancement of Knowledge Award. More recently he is the co-author of The Meaningful Writing Project: Learning, Teaching and Writing in Higher Education.

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)


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.

  • Examines the theory and practice of writing and teaching writing. Required for stipended graduate assistants (SGAs) in their first year.

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