Professor publishes petite pocket writer’s handbook

Professor publishes petite pocket writer’s handbook

Photo by: Ashley Burton

Dr. Kunka poses with her newly published “The Writer’s FAQs”

Alexis Johnson, Managing Editor

Dr. Jennifer Kunka, associate professor of English and director of the FMU Writing Center (WC), recently published “The Writer’s FAQs,” a composition reference guide.

Kunka, who also helped compose the fourth edition of the book, explained its purpose.

“[‘The Writer’s FAQs’] is a book that provides guidance on basic questions such as grammar, as well as questions about research and citations,” Kunka said. “It’s a shorter book than the ‘Prentice Hall Reference Guide,’ and it’s meant for people who want more of the basics as opposed to additional sections of information.”

Kunka co-authored the book, used in universities and community colleges nationwide, with Dr. Muriel Harris, professor emerita at Purdue University, former director of the Purdue Writing Lab and current editor of the Writing Lab Newsletter. Kunka explained how she and Harris came to collaborate.

“I got to know her when I was a graduate student at Purdue,” Kunka said. “I became, over time, the assistant director of the writing lab, and for a little while, was the acting director while she was on sabbatical. In 2006, we talked about the possibility of my involvement with some of the publications, including ‘Writer’s FAQs.’”

Kunka noted that significant differences exist between the fourth edition and the fifth edition of the guide.

“The citation sections are very updated, and that’s a huge part of this book,” Kunka said. “The papers are updated, and there are more visual examples.”

One of Kunka’s favorite parts of “The Writer’s FAQs” is the inclusion of material from FMU students.

“There are a few FMU students featured,” Kunka said. “It’s really nice that we are able to feature the work of some of our students here.”

Sophomore English education major Jennifer Coker, who is also a WC tutor, commented on how she feels to be a part of “The Writer’s FAQs.”

“It’s an honor that my paper was chosen to published in a book,” Coker said. “It is exciting that my own hard work can be helpful to other students.”

Kunka emphasized the extensive amount of work it takes to publish a book.

“It’s an ongoing process, over a year of active work,” Kunka said. “When these new editions come out, we think about what’s working and what’s not. I’m already thinking if there’s another edition, what types of things would be important to emphasize.”

Kunka commented on how pleased she is to be a published author.

“I feel very lucky and proud that I get the opportunity to share my experience with writing with students and faculty at schools all over the country,” Kunka said. “That is very humbling.”