Dr. John Nelson
Courses Taught: Composition I & II, Documentation and Presentation, Literature, Creative Writing
Dr. John Nelson's easy-going demeanor conceals his prestigious accomplishments. Having recently completed his Ph.D in English from the University of South Dakota, he now has the distinction of Dr. added to his name. Dr. Nelson has also had numerous poems, stories, and articles published. He brings his expertise to the Composition I and II, Documentation and Presentation, Literature, and Creative Writing classes here at DSU.
Like most professors, Dr. Nelson expects his students to have a general working knowledge of the fundamentals of writing. Dr. Nelson expects his students should have basic knowledge of how to put an essay together, how to address an assignment, and how to look at an assignment and respond appropriately to it. A well written assignment will naturally incorporate all of these elements. Dr. Nelson understands that poor writing skills are not the only thing that hold students back. The ability to read well is also paramount. Without the ability to read well, students will miss the elements that comprise good writing.
While some professors have abandoned usage of the library databases, Dr. Nelson says that he requires that most of his classes utilize this resource.
As far as writing in workplace goes, Dr. Nelson states that it will vary depending on what area a student's degree is in. Different fields use different styles, so Dr. Nelson suggests that students learn more than one style of writing. As another preparation for students, Dr. Nelson encourages those in his Composition II classes to subscribe to the professional publications in their prospective areas. He also makes an important distinction between professional publications as opposed to general publications. "It's the professional ones that are geared toward people working in that industry, versus general publications geared toward the consumer," declares Dr. Nelson.
Nelson's work ethic shows in his advice to students about writing. "Writing is always going to reflect the work you put into it. If you are an efficient worker and [. . .] are capable of effectively doing work, you will be successful. Revising a paper takes time," says Dr. Nelson. Dr. Nelson doesn't only expect hard work from his students though. He also realizes the value his own efforts have in contributing to student growth: "[My] aim is to make that student more informed and more skilled. That hour's worth of work is going to have a bigger and bigger pay off."