About Karin Evans

Areas of Research Interest:

  • Developmental theories of writing and literacy
  • Writing placement and assessment
  • How students transfer their knowledge and expertise about writing from writing classes to other contexts
  • Issues in teaching (and not teaching) grammar

Recent Courses Taught at COD:

  • English Composition 1101, 1102
  • English Composition 0491, 0493

Recent Courses Taught at Other Colleges:

  • Business writing and communication
  • Advanced writing and grammar courses

Current Projects:

  • I'm part of a group of English faculty who are making changes in the placement process for our writing courses. We are refining a placement rubric and discussing approaches to reading placement essays.
  • I've been working with Christine Kickels, a faculty member from the Library, to collect data on how students in my English 103 classes develop and apply skills in information literacy. This project has resulted in some significant changes in how I teach research-based writing.

Selected Publications, Presentations, Performances, Books:

  • Pass the GED Language Arts Writing Test: 5 Steps to Test Success. New Readers Press/Trian Publishing, 2003.
  • "Successful Business Writing." Business Communication Certificate Program, College of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago. April-May 2003.
  • "How to Write Your Own Marketing Copy." Evanston Chamber of Commerce. February 2003.
  • GED Scoreboost Writing: Essay Writing and Organizational Skills. New Readers Press/Trian Publishing, 2002.
  • "Marketing: Put Yourself in Writing." ASTD-Chicago Professional Development Network. May 2002.
  • "Beyond the First Impression: Strategic Writing for Consultants." Monar Associates, Chicago. April 2002.
  • "10 Myths About Writing That Hold You Back-And What To Do About Them." Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, Illinois. October 2001.
  • "Visible Consequences: Trading Off Student Development, Program Development, and Professional Development." Conference on College Composition and Communication, Atlanta, March 1999.
  • "Audience and Discourse Community Theory." Theorizing Composition. Ed. Mary Kennedy. Greenwood Press, 1998.
  • "Sociolinguistics and Basic Writing Theory: Plural Identities and Plural Discourses in the Basic Writing Curriculum." Midwest Modern Language Association, Chicago, 1997.
  • "'Does This Paper Have to Have an Audience?': Freshman Writers and Public Discourse." Conference on College Composition and Communication, Milwaukee, 1996.
  • "Reforming Developmental Writing: Writing and Agency at the Academic Edge." With Joanne Addison. Feminist Teacher (Spring/Summer 1995).


  • Ph.D., Purdue University, 1997
  • M.A., North Carolina State University, 1991
  • B.A., Oberlin College, 1984

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Purdue Research Foundation Summer Grant, 1995
  • Purdue University Fellowship, 1991-93
  • 2nd Place, graduate division, Jane Austen Society of North America Literary Competition, 1991
  • Graduate Student Certificate for Outstanding Teaching, North Carolina State University, 1991

More on this faculty member

In addition to my academic training and formal teaching experience, I bring to COD many years of experience as an professional writer and editor. Because I have been constantly challenged as a writer myself, learning to manage new types of writing for different situations and clients, I have great sympathy for students in my classes. As writers, we all face similar questions: What is the purpose of this writing? What are the conventions of this genre? What does the reader/evaluator of my writing need or expect?