Beth Howells

Armstrong English Professor Publishes Textbook

(September 30, 2010) Beth Howells, associate professor of English and director of the writing program at Armstrong Atlantic State University, is the author of a new textbook, Literature: Reading to Write, published by Longman, an imprint of Pearson. The 608-page volume features an array of classic and contemporary voices as well as a section devoted to newer genres such as graphic novels.

Designed for use in the second semester of first-year college composition courses, the book utilizes an interactive approach to help students become thoughtful readers and adept academic writers. Howells tested the textbook outline and proposed course with students over the past 10 or so years. Four of her former students contributed writing samples to the textbook, while two other former students served as research assistants.

"I know how much thought and effort Beth put into this project and the result, Literature: Reading to Write, has all the makings of a successful textbook,” said David Wheeler, head of the department of Languages, Literature & Philosophy at Armstrong.

Ashley Walden, a high school teacher and 2007 Armstrong graduate whose writing samples as a student are included in the textbook, would like to use the book in her advance placement classes.

“It would go well with advance placement literature because of its newer content and its design as a college textbook,” said Walden who teaches at First Presbyterian Christian Academy in Hinesville, Ga.

Added Wheeler, “Especially notable is how contemporary it is, expanding our customary conceptions of 'reading' and 'text' beyond the traditional literature anthology to include visual art, graphic literature, and even music as subjects for student analysis. Combining, as it does, traditional works with new stuff that's out there, this book offers something for every kind of composition instructor. It's at once very rich and very cool."

Howells joined the Armstrong faculty in 2001 and has worked as a site director with the National Writing Project. She holds a Ph.D. in composition and rhetoric and nineteenth century British literature.

More information on the book is available on the publisher's Website and at