Faculty: David Gillespie


David Gillespie graduated from the University of Connecticut (B.A.) with a major in English and an emphasis on secondary education and from the University of Arizona (M.A.) with a major in English and an emphasis on junior-college teaching.  At the U of A, the Writing Department stressed the teachings of Peter Elbow, along with active, collaborative learning—an effective foundation for a writing teacher.  With these philosophies, Gillespie has been teaching college-level writing courses for twenty-five years, but his background also contains a variety of paid writing experiences—from journalism (newspaper reporter), to business (resume writer), to more creative (freelance writer for music magazines), to academic (sold a writing sample to publisher John Langan, wrote a fairly short book on citation formats for Roger Williams University, created a “Peer Tutor Guide” for RWU’s Writing Center, etc.).  Regarding tutoring as pure teaching, Gillespie has worked in writing centers for over twenty years.  He especially loves one-on-one teaching, along with writing—evidenced by his continual letters to the editor (usually involving animal rights) for the Providence Journal and by his use of personal models in class.  Besides writing, Gillespie builds stone walls (no concrete allowed) and creative wooden bookshelves, which he has sold at the Wickford Arts Festival.  Happily married (and with two dogs currently), Gillespie has lived in Providence since 1991.

Academic Research/Areas of Interest

Gillespie continues to study effective composition teaching strategies, such as creating student-centered lesson plans and working successfully with ESL and LD students.  He also focuses his studies on writing across the curriculum (creating faculty surveys at two of his schools).  Recently, he has focused on using music in the classroom, both as a topic for writing and as an actual teaching too—e.g., he has written dozens of “Grammar Jam” songs to well known melodies, such as his “The Rules of Punctuation,” sung to “The Sounds of Silence.”  Within the past dozen years, Gillespie has also studied online teaching—first through Blackboard, then through Sakai.  He built three different online writing courses (introductory, regular Comp 1, and business writing) and continues to teach at least one of these online courses per semester.

David Gillespie

David Gillespie


  • MA, University of Arizona
  • BA, University of Connecticut


  • LAEL-LE70
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