Jon Ostenson

Associate Professor, English

4110C JFSB


Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

I enjoy helping students unlock their potential, either as writers or as English teachers. As a teacher, I focus on meaningful learning objectives and make plans to help my students meet those through engaging, relevant learning activities. I believe that no student is a blank slate, and hope to rely on previous experiences and learning as we work together to meet those objectives.


My research focuses on how we teaching writing both in secondary English classrooms and university settings. While I’m interested in broad pedagogical concerns, I focus much of my research on two specific aspects: teaching students to conduct research and write from sources, and helping students develop power and capacity with grammar and style. I also conduct research in young adult literature, both as a literary genre and as a tool for teaching.

Selected Publications

  • Ostenson, J. & Silva, E. (2019). Avoiding Fakery: Activities to Prepare Students for Effective Searches. English Journal, 108(5), 46-53.
  • Coombs, D., & Ostenson, J. (2016). Looking into the Mirror of Erised: Transacting with representations of Hogwarts’ teachers & pedagogy. In Exploring Teachers in Fiction and Film: Saviors, Scapegoats & Schoolmarms, Melanie Shoffner (Ed.), Routledge.
  • Watkins, N. & Ostenson, J. (2015). Navigating the text selection gauntlet: Exploring factors that influence English teachers’ choices. English Education, 47(3), 245-275.
  • Ostenson, J. (2014). Reconsidering the checklist in teaching Internet source evaluation. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 14(1), 33-50.
  • Ostenson, J., & Gleason-Sutton, E. (2011). Making the classics matter to students through digital literacies and essential questions. English Journal, 101(2), 37-43.
  • Ostenson, J. (2009). Skeptics on the Internet: Teaching students to read critically. English Journal, 98(5), 54-59.


I truly value contributing to the English department and the University community. My work in University Writing has helped me see the importance of the broad, liberal arts education we ask students to engage in while at BYU. I appreciate providing service to General Education and the writing programs here at BYU because they are such a fundamental part of students’ experiences here at BYU.

Citizenship assignments

  • Coordinator, University Writing (2018-present)
  • Member, Faculty General Education Committee
  • Planning Committee Member, Books for Young Readers
  • English Teaching Major Advisor
  • Co-Creator, Style Academy site (