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Sara Heaser

Specialty area(s)

first-year writing; basic writing; first-year experience; co-requisite course design and curriculum; rhetoric and composition pedagogy; writing placement (multiple measures and direct self-placement); research methodology in composition studies

Brief biography

As a Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, I help students become more confident, rhetorically-aware communicators. My writing courses are designed to emphasize experimentation, critical thinking, collaboration, and metacognition in order to prepare students for active lives driven by inquiry and curiosity.

Much of my professional work focuses on first-year student learning, success, and retention at multiple levels, from classroom instruction of novice and underprepared writers to curricular, course, and programmatic design within my institution.

If you are a student and interested in learning more about English programs and opportunities on our campus, stop by my office or email me. I'd be happy to discuss all things English with you! 

Current courses at UWL

Fall 2018

English 100: College Writing Workshop

English 110: College Writing 


Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Research in Composition Studies, Dartmouth University

M.A., Literature and Language Studies, Winona State University

B.A., Rhetoric and Composition, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Teaching history

English 050: Fundamentals of Composition 

UWL 100: First-Year Seminar

ENG 100: College Writing Workshop

English 110: College Writing 

English 303: Advanced Composition

English 450: English Internship

Professional history

Professional Memberships 

  • National Council of the Teachers of English
  • Council on Basic Writing
  • UW La Crosse Organization for Campus Women

Research and publishing


  • Colloquium Presentation: "Why Johnny Can't Write: Myths and Misperceptions of Basic Writers"
  • Colloquium Presentation: "Working with Multilingual Writers"
  • Conference Presentation: "Context, Access, Identity: On Mainstreaming Adjuncts Like Basic Writers"
  • Conference Presentation: "First-Year and Basic Writing: Multiple Measures Placement and Co-Requisite Course Development"
  • Conference Presentation: "Integrating 'Re-Imagining the First Year' to Innovate Writing Program Curriculum"
  • Conference Presentation: "Personalization: A TESOL Pedagogical Approach for First-Year Composition"
  • Conference Presentation: "Persuasive Rhetoric in Frederick Douglass’s Narrative: Multiple Devices, Multiple Purposes"
  • Conference Presentation: "Researching Basic Writing: A Timeline for Multiple Measures Placement"
  • Conference Presentation: "Social Awareness and Community Connection in the Composition Classroom"
  • Invited Roundtable: "From Bad Grammar to Good Writing"
  • Invited Roundtable: "Managing Digital Identity as IAS" 
  • Invited Roundtable: "Performing Strategic Service as IAS" 
  • Seminar Presentation: "Limitations of 'Self Assessment' for Basic and First-Year Writers"
  • Seminar Presentation: "The Influence of Hypertext on Literacy Development: Dilemmas for First-Year Readers"


  • Article, Bedford Bits Blog: "Telling it Like it Is: Talking Metaphor in First-Year Writing"
  • Article, La Crosse Tribune: "Saying Goodbye to Students Isn't Easy"
  • Journal Article; Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: "Re-imagining the First Year as Catalyst for First-Year Writing Program Curricular Change" (forthcoming Fall 2018)