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 three 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.
- MA, University of Arizona
- BA, University of Connecticut
FUNDAMENTALS OF WRITING