Richard Jewell  College Teaching, Meditation, Creative Writing


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Richard Jewell

College Teaching and Learning


Writing Consciousness

The Phenomena of Critical Thinking, Heuristics, and Metacognition in Composition

Writing Critically, Metacognitively, and Heuristically

     Have you been interested in using "critical thinking" in teaching and learning but don't want to study pedagogies about it from the movement of that name? The works here offer a complete transformation of critical-thinking pedagogy, providing FYW and advanced-composition teaching methods that not only are easy to adopt in the classroom but also are native to the ecologies of most composition courses. These adapted methods reveal to students how to establish a real writing self, control higher-order thinking to accomplish their writing goals in other disciplines, and utilize a "toolbox" of heuristic, metacognitive writing skills. They are useful, even necessary tools, with or without AI. The works on this page also provide hundreds of references to popular 1900-2000 writing pedagogies and their authors who already have inspired important elements of critical thinking, in the past century's birth of a writing discipline with its own theories and studies.

    What is "Writing Consciousness"? It is your consciousness of being a writer. It also is is your active state of consciously transforming memories and impressions into written words. A third meaning is that you literally "write consciousness"--you create or build your own additional awareness--by building it through writing, constructing new meanings and new, strategic superstructures of writing. These three dispositions, over time, form your writerly persona. You can help all of your students develop their own. And doing so aids all of them in transferring these knowledge states to other courses and future situations in life.

    This may sound complex in classroom application. I thought so at first. My own struggle to create a simple process is documented in the first few papers. I gradually learned how such teaching can be simple yet rich and powerful--and how very rewarding and useful students find it.

    Below are links for downloading an essay collection and, separately, six handouts for applying critical thinking. Most of the papers collected in the book have been published or presented at conferences. The brief handouts, most of which are one page, are for students and faculty to use in developing writerly self-reflection and metacognitive knowledge. Four of the six handouts also demonstrate the deep research behind the formulation of the stages of the college writer and critical thinking. Of these six, the first is the most important for general students; the second, for faculty and advanced/graduate students. The fifth handout is particularly helpful for beginning or basic college writers.

HANDOUTS for Classroom Use


 Handout A: The Three Stages of a College Writer—Grade Levels
(For all students, week 2 or 3 of term)

 Handout B: Stages, Competencies, or Discursive Practices of a College Writer
(For faculty use with “The Three Stages” above; for advanced students during the middle or end of term)

 Handout C: Stages of College Writing in Carroll and in Bloom and Bartholomae
(For faculty use with “the Three Stages” above”; for advanced students during the middle or end of term)

 Handout D: Thinking Self-Assessment for Reading and Writing in Three Parts
 (For all students to use with “The Three Stages” above, beginning, middle, and/or end of term)


 Handout E: Stories of Becoming a Writer: How I Learned to Write
(Introductory. For all students, especially those in FYW, beginning of term)

 Handout F: Identifying Bloom’s Thinking Skills in Your Paper
(Intermediate/advanced. For all students, middle/end of term)


Writing Consciousness: The Phenomena of
Critical Thinking, Heuristics, and Metacognition in Composition
(downloadable pdf)

Introduction: The Fire of Reflective Thinking                                   

Chapter 1. “Too Much Thinking!” What Should be Required?

Chapter 2. Using Role Playing to Teach Critical Thinking

Chapter 3. A Toolbox: Heuristics as Devices That Construct Thinking

Chapter 4. The Metacognitive Writer in the Experiential Classroom

Chapter 5. New Cartesian Writing: The Phenomenology of Composing

Chapter 6. Death and Rebirth: A Phenomenology of Style

Chapter 7. Raw Writing: A Phenomenal Critique of Process

                    and Post-Process Paradigms 

Appendix: Six Handouts for Students and Instructors              

     Richard Jewell has worked with metacognitive and critical thinking since his studies of metaphysics, existentialism, and phenomenology for his B.A. with honors in philosophy, and his M.A. in Theology with a book-length thesis on experiential existentialism. He has published and presented several works nationally on critical thinking. He also has deeply researched Hindu and Western meditation methods similar to Husserl's phenomenology of the self.

     He applied these practices in his college and university classrooms during thirty-six years of teaching lower- and upper-division composition and writing in specific disciplines. His lessons and handouts for students always have included a variety of reflective critical-thinking and metacognitive practices that helped them develop their writer identities and heuristic toolboxes.

     Richard retired in 2019 as a professor in the English and Humanities Departments of Inver Hills College, part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. He taught as a full-time composition specialist for five years beforehand in the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Composition Program. During that time, he specialized in publishing and presenting on English adjunct issues; he and Chris Anson of UMN-TC (now North Carolina State University) wrote the first chapter of the NCTE's 2002 Best Book winner Moving a Mountain. In 2007, Richard co-founded, with UMN-TC's Donald Ross, the  Minnesota Writing and English ( annual college and university conference. He continues as its General Coordinator.

Most recent page revision: May 2023
Top photo: Richard as a professor,
© Peggy Sorrell


Home page: (also or You may find this page by Googling "richard jewell meditation" or  "richard jewell college teaching." Questions? Email richard at jewell dot net (change "at" to "@" and "dot" to a period).

Copyrights: All text and images in this website are © (copyright) by Richard Jewell except as noted. Texts and images of others in this website are copyrighted by their owners and are shown here by permission.

Permissions: You have permission to read, share, and download anything in this website for your or others' educational use if the copyright notice is shown as "© Richard Jewell" or "Copyright Richard Jewell." This includes free use of the textbooks for teaching. However, if you or someone else will make a profit, you must receive permission first.

Picture on right © 1996 by Alice Peterson




Body Meditation, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Meditationary Dictionary,





Short Stories, Creative Nonfiction, Poems, Novels



ACTIVITIES: MnWE--Minnesota Writing & English, Inver Hills College Course Syllabi

ABOUT: Description, and Resume/Vita


Meditation Writings

Professional Activities,
Short Fiction, Poems
Body Meditation:
Introducing Hindu Practices

A 90-page Manual of Practices

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras:
A Vedic Translation for Modern Meditation

2000-year-old Hindu Yoga Practices Using New Yale and Indo-European Dictionaries

A Western Meditation Dictionary

100s of Western Definitions
Inner Life Meditations: Short Essays and Poems
Experiential Reflections
 An Alternative Novel of Jesus
Based on Edgar Cayce et al.
MnWE General Coord.: Minnesota Writing & English
Inver Hills College, Retired: Inver Hills Courses (Syllabi)
About: Description and Academic Resume/Vita

Minnesota Hiring Guide
for 2-yr. Public Colleges and
 Sample Cover Letter

Short Fiction and Poems:

"Reindeer"--Christmas Story

"Stove"--Prose Poem

"Valley"--Literary Nonfiction

"Opposites Do Attract"--Story

"Morrison from the Sea"

"Fumes"--Short Short Story

"Knocker"--Short Short Story