William Tucker

A photo of William Tucker


English Language and Literature

614P Pray-Harrold




  • Ph.D., Boston College

Interests and Expertise

In the summer of 1986 I was sitting with nineteen other K–12 teachers in a rectangle of tables and chairs, while an education professor prompted us to share why we had come to the Boston Writing Project. He thanked those of us who had already spoken, but added, "we still haven't heard from...." and named a handful of teachers. We abruptly saw that no one would sit on the sidelines for those four weeks. I thought: This is terrific; I'd love to have his job someday.

Better than displacing Joe Check as director of the Boston Writing Project, I came to Eastern Michigan University in 1993 to teach English methods and written communication, and after co-directing for six years, became director of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project in the summer of 2000. With 30 years of high school and college teaching behind me, I feel safe in saying that the personal and professional development of students and teachers is my lifelong passion.

My wife, Kathy Hessert-Tucker, is a retired lecturer in literature at EMU, and as a former middle school teacher, shares my passion for the literacy of young adults. Kathy and I and our spoiled Papillon, Wysiwyg, live together in Ypsilanti Township.

Most of my courses address the preparation of preservice teachers and the professional development of practicing teachers. My dissertation and early research focused on composing styles and the influence of cognitive profiles on writing. Currently I am focused on the study of reflective writing of teacher consultants of the National Writing Project.


  • Writing for writing teachers
  • Teaching English in the secondary schools
  • Introduction to English studies
  • Literacy and written literacy instruction
  • Issues in teaching of writing
  • The Invitational Institute: Eastern Michigan Writing Project

Publications and Presentations

  • "The Interpretation not Taken," in Killing the Blues: Optimism Returns. Dexter, MI: Wordsmith Press, 2008.
  • "The Listener's Stance," Language Arts Journal of Michigan, 22 (1), Spring–Summer, 2006.
  • "Pippy and the Reflective Turn: A Model for Pedagogical Thinking." Journal of Teaching Writing, 18 (1), 2001.
  • "The Teacher as Explorer: A Review of Exploring and Teaching the English Language Arts, Fourth Edition. in The Michigan English Teacher, Spring, 2000.