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Dr. Robert Watkins

Comics in the Classroom

For many, comics and graphic novels aren't taken very seriously. The goal of this talk is to show that this perception is wrong—comics are serious and seriously fun. Research suggests that engaging in comics tends to interest reluctant readers. My own research has mirrored these findings and suggests that engaging in comics production further enriches understanding of visuals and genre. In my interactive lecture, I teach students the form of comics, how they function, and how they can be used to persuade, entertain, inform, and educate. Depending on your classroom's needs, I can discuss either how comics work as literature, how they function as professional texts, how they work as a visual communication device, or how they can be used for writing. No matter the approach, students will leave feeling invigorated about the potential in comics.

Resume Workshop

Are your students looking for help in creating their resumes? In this workshop, I do just that: give them tips from the business communication world and the latest research on resume expectations. We look at the most powerful ways to sell yourself through verbs, wording, spacing, design, and organization. Students can bring in their resumes in-progress, or the workshop can take on general tips and approaches. This hands-on approach to improving resume writing (and CVs if interested) will put your students ahead of the game upon leaving high school and instill lifelong skills for composing their resumes for later in life.

What is Technical and Professional Writing?

Are your students more interested in making texts than in reading them? Moving beyond the analysis of others' writing, I show how engaging in professional writing can be useful for those wanting to major in English as well as those interested in the STEM fields. Research suggests that in STEM professions employers are looking not only for qualified candidates in their profession but for good commnicators. That's where professional writing comes in. Depending on the needs of your students, I can show how communication in technical and professional genres benefits students in all lines of working, or I can facilitate the production of multiple professional and technical genres for students wanting to expand on their writing abilities.

State Standards

These presentations meet the following state education standards for high school students:

English Language Arts

Production and Distribution of Writing

W.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


Text Types and Purposes

W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.


Media Arts

Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

MA:Re8.1.III Analyze the intent, meanings and impacts of diverse media artworks, considering complex factors of context and bias.


Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

MA:Re9.1.HS.III Independently develop rigorous evaluations of, and strategically seek feedback for media artworks and production processes, considering complex goals and factors.