The End of Composition Studies
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
Download PDF (50.5 KB)
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (48.8 KB)
Download PDF (43.5 KB)
List of Figures
Download PDF (27.9 KB)
Foreward by Doug Hesse
Download PDF (72.1 KB)
SINCE ITS COLLEGIATE BIRTH a century and a quarter ago, composi-tion has led a hard life. Orphaned from rhetoric, a servile Cinderella in thebegrudging manor of English-as-literature, composition earnestly began pur-suing the research that might win a dance at the academic ball only in thes. But even a closet full of doctoral programs, monographs, professional...
Download PDF (54.2 KB)
...in my mind as early as the s, when I attended a workshop on reading forpublic school teachers conducted by Frank Smith. I had taken a break fromteaching, but Smith had just published Psycholinguistics and Reading, andhis ideas were a hot topic at the time. When my wife offered me the oppor-During the workshop, Smith was very much the neutral, objective scholar...
Download PDF (114.3 KB)
OF COURSE, MY TITLE The End of Composition Studies is a play on themeaning of “end” and is designed to be provocative, alluding as it does torecent titles such as Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature, Francis Fukuyama’sThe End of History and the Last Man, and John Horgan’s The End of Sci-ence. Each of these books attempts to define the nature of a large enterprise,...
Part One. Conceptual Limits
1. What Is Writing and Writing Ability?
Download PDF (159.7 KB)
Think of the tools in a tool box: there is a hammer, pliers, a saw, a screw-driver, a rule, a glue-pot, glue, nails and screws.—The functions of wordsare as diverse as the functions of these objects. (And in both cases there Of course, what confuses us is the uniform appearance of words whenWhen we say: “Every word in language signifies something” we have so far...
2. Learning to Write
Download PDF (158.8 KB)
Language is acquired only by absorption and contact with an environ-—Samuel Thurber, “An Address to English Teachers,” , asThe world that emerges for us is a conceptual world. When we are puzzledabout what we encounter, we renegotiate its meaning in a manner that isIF COMPOSITION STUDIES HAS an underconceptualized notion of what...
3. How We Compoe
Download PDF (149.1 KB)
...one great contribution of the field to our understanding of writing instruc-tion has been the promotion of the “process approach” (see Crowley, Com-position – for an overview). After all, the value of the process ap-proach, which began in the late s and early s, seems to have beenconfirmed by the major research on composing and cognitive processes...
4. Writing as a Social Practice
Download PDF (148.6 KB)
...commonplace in composition studies to argue that writing is in some sense“social.” Various composition theorists have called writing “a social activ-ity” or “a social practice”; they have argued that writing is “socially con-structed” or “social-epistemic,” to name a few varieties of the term. How-ever, none of these conceptions of writing is very well developed....
5. Writing and Thinking
Download PDF (147.0 KB)
I maintain, therefore, that it is a wholly legitimate goal of a compositioncourse to encourage students to think about their thoughts, beliefs, andvalues, and where those came from—before, during, and after writing.Neither we teachers, nor our students, can ever get the words right until—Peter J. Caulfield, “Talk, Thought, Writing and Politics”...
Download PDF (131.0 KB)
NOW WE HAVE ARRIVED at what I take to be the heart of the matter inlearning to write. If writing is a complex number of related abilities thatrely on very different kinds of knowledge, depending on the writer’s pur-pose and context, when writers learn any particular piece of knowledge orwhen they learn how to put a particular skill into practice, just what have...
Part Two. Diagnosis and Proposal
7. What Is Writing Instruction and Why Is It So Problematic?
Download PDF (154.4 KB)
IN , GARY TATE, AMY RUPIPER, and Kurt Schick edited a collectionentitled A Guide to Composition Pedagogies. The collection included twelvechapters, each devoted to a different pedagogy used in the teaching of writ-ing: “Process Pedagogy,” “Expressive Pedagogy,” “Rhetorical Pedagogy,” “Col-laborative Pedagogy,” “Cultural Studies and Composition,” “Critical Peda-...
8. What Does It Mean to Be a Writing Teacher?
Download PDF (149.7 KB)
Can one learn this knowledge [of how to express feelings]? Yes, some can.Not, however, by taking a course in it, but through ‘experience’.—Cansomeone else be a man’s teacher in this? Certainly. From time to timehe gives him the right tip.—This is what ‘learning’ and ‘teaching’ areIN , ROBIN WILSON REPORTED in the Chronicle of Higher Educa-...
9. A R/Evolutionary Program
Download PDF (140.3 KB)
That is, Discourses are not mastered by overt instruction . . . , but byenculturation (‘apprenticeship’) into social practices through scaffoldedand supported interaction with people who have already mastered theDiscourse. . . . If you have no access to the social practice, you don’t get inAS STEPHEN NORTH AND a number of other theorists have convincingly...
10. Furthering the R/Evolution
Download PDF (157.2 KB)
At present, the profession [of English Studies] does not have much of apublic rationale for itself. . . . [W]e need to find a rhetoric of justification. . . .[I]ntellectuals, administrators, and students are no different from anyoneelse who works in a large bureaucratic system: they need to be persuadedthat change is necessary, they would prefer to exercise some control over...
Download PDF (130.2 KB)
Download PDF (60.7 KB)
Author Bio, Back Cover
Download PDF (121.9 KB)
David W. Smit is a professor of English at Kansas State University, where for ten years he was the director of the Expository Writing Program. He teaches expository writing, modern drama, and Henry James. He has published numerous articles on literary style, portfolio assessment, and composition theory. ...
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2007