Composition/Rhetoric Reading List

What follows is a list of the primary texts upon which you will be tested. The purpose of the list is to reduce the amount of material on which you will be asked direct questions to a representative and practical size. It is not to limit the depth and breadth of your reading. Obviously, reading other texts, studies, and theoretical works is one of the best ways of preparing to discuss the issues raised in these works, and to give some account of the place of each in its historical and pedagogical context.

General Works


  • Heilker, Paul and Peter Vandenberg. Keywords in Composition Studies.
  • Harris, Joseph. A Teaching Subject: Composition since 1966.
  • Lindermann, Erika and Gary Tate. Introduction to Composition Studies.
  • Berlin, James A. "Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories." College English 44.8 (December 1982): 765-77.

Rhetoric and Writing:

  • Winterowd, W. Ross. A Teacher's Introduction to Composition in the Rhetorical Tradition.
  • Ede, Lisa and Andrea Lunsford. "Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked: The Role of Audience in Composition Theory and Pedagogy." College Composition and Communication 35.2 (May 1984): 155-71.
  • Kinneavy, James E. "The Basic Aims of Discourse." College Composition and Communication 20.4 (December 1969): 297-304.

Theories of Composing:

  • Elbow, Peter. Writing without Teachers.
  • Emig, Janet. The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1971.
  • "Writing as a Mode of Learning." College Composition and Communication 28.2 (May 1977): 122-28.
  • Bartholomae, David. "Inventing the University." From When a Writer Can't Write: Studies in Writer's Block and Other Composiing Process Problems. Ed. Mike Rose. New York: Builford, 1985. 134-65.
  • Sommers, Nancy. "Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers." College Composition and Communication 31.4 (December 1980): 378-88.

Pedagogical Perspectives:

  • Shor, Ira and Paulo Freire. A Pedagogy for Liberation: Dialogues on Transforming Education.
  • Bruffee, Kenneth A. "Collaborative Learning and the 'Conversation of Mankind.'" College English 46.7 (November 1984): 635-52.
  • Fulkerson, Richard. "Four Philosophies of Composition." College Composition and Communication 30 (1979) 343-48.
  • Hartwell, Patrck. "Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar." College English 47.2 (February 1985): 105-27.
  • Murray, Donald. "Teach Writing as a Process Not Product." The Leaflet, November 1972.
  • Myers, Greg. "Reality, Consensus, and Reform in the Rhetoric of Composition Teaching." College English 48.2 (February 1986): 154-71.
  • Roskelly, Hephzibah. "The Risky Business of Group Work." ATAC Forum 4 (1992): 1-5.
  • Tobin, Lad. "Reading Students, Reading Ourselves: Revising the Teacher's Role in the Writing CLass." College English 53 (1991): 333-48.

Supporting Areas

(Select one area. Consult with advisor for additional readings.)

Basic Writing:

  • Dickson, Marcia. It's Not Like That Here: Teaching Academic Writing and Reading to Novice Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1995.
  • Shaughnessy, Mina. Errors and Expectations. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.

Writing across the Curriculum:

  • McLeod, Susan H. and Margot Soven, eds. Writing across the Curriculum. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992.

Writing Centers :

  • Stay, Byron L., Christina Murphy and Eric H. Hobson, eds. Writing Center Perspectives. NCWA, 1995.
  • Murphy, Christina and Joe Law, eds. Landmark Essays on Writing Centers. Davis, CA: Hermagoras, 1995.

Assessment and Response to Student Writing:

  • Anson, Chris, Ed. Writing and Response: Theory, Practice, and Research. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1989.
  • Lawson, Bruce, Susan Sterr Ryan, and W. Ross Winterowd, eds. Encountering Student Texts: Interprective Issues in Reading Student Writing. Urbana: NCTE, 1989.
  • White, Edward M., William D. Lutz, and Sandra Kausikiri, eds. Assessment of Writing: Politics, Policies, Practices. New York: MLA, 1996.

Computers and Writing:

  • Selfe, Cunthia L. and Susan Hilligoss, eds. Literacy and Computers: The Complications of Teaching and Learning with Technology. New York: MLA, 1994.

Feminist Composition Studies:

  • Jarratt, Susan C. and Lynn Worsham, eds. Feminism and Composition Studies: In Other Words. New York: MLA, 1998.

Race and Writing in Multicultural Settings:

  • Gilyard, Keith, ed. Race, Rhetoric, and Composition. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1999.
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