Composition StudiesComposition StudiesUniversity of Cincinnati

Composition Studies

Spring 2000, 28.1

Articles

Barry M. Kroll Broadening the Repertoire: Alternatives to the Argumentative Edge
Michael Hassett and Rachel W. Lott Seeing Student Texts
Brock Dethier The Other Process Revolution
Dale Jacobs and Kate Ronald Coming to Composition: A Collaborative Metanarrative of Conversion and Subversion
Kevin Ball and Amy M. Goodburn Composition Studies and Service Learning: Appealing to Communities?
Donald C. Jones Engaging Students in the Conflict: Academic Discourse, its Variations, and its Instruction

Course Design

Mickey Hess English 102, Intermediate College Composition: Entering the Academic Community through Surrealism

Review Essays

Lynee Lewis Gaillet Mina Shaughnessy: Iconic Teacher Figure
Xin Liu Gale Fact Construction in Social Sciences and its Critique
Donna Strickland Refiguring English Studies

Exchanges

Selfe, Reiss, and Young

Abstracts for Composition Studies 28.1

Kroll, Barry M. "Broadening the Repertoire: Alternatives to the Argumentative Edge."  Composition Studies (28.1): 11-27.

Although thesis-support writing has legitimate uses, its dominance in  composition instruction has obscured alternative forms for argument.  Three of these alternatives are the conciliatory approach (in which the writer seeks to decrease hostility and open lines of communication), the integrative approach (in which the writer uses strategies of negotiation and mediation to find common ground), and the deliberative approach (in which a writer weighs alternatives before embracing an option or proposing a new one).  Examples of each approach,drawn from newspapers and magazines, are examined.  If teachers want their students to develop a broad repertoire of strategies, then they should provide instruction and practice with alternatives to thesis-support argument.

Hassett, Michael, and Rachel W. Lott. "Seeing Student Texts." Composition Studies (28.1): 29-47.

Over ten years ago, Stephen Bernhard argued that rhetoric and composition instructors needed to attend to the visual shape of documents.  Although we have made some strides in the appropriate direction, we have not sufficiently altered our teaching to take this visual shape into account.  Specifically, we have not taught our students to use design elements to exercise more thorough rhetorical control over their documents.  If we want our students to create documents outside of our classes that can compete adequately for attention, we have to teach our students how to see their own texts through the eyes of the readers they hope to attract, converse with, and persuade.

Dethier, Brock. "The Other Process Revolution." Composition Studies (28.1): 49-58.

 "The Other Process Revolution" argues that through a study of the quality movement in business management, composition teachers can refresh their teaching as well as learn to oppose more effectively the factory model of education.   The management approach pioneered by W. Edwards Deming in post-war Japan focuses on upgrading entire systems through continuous improvement, rooting out the causes of problems rather than reworking defective products, and encouraging leaders to coach, not dictate.

Jacobs, Dale, and Kate Ronald. "Coming to Composition: A Collaborative Metanarrative of Conversion and Subversion." Composition Studies (28.1): 59-77.

 "Coming to Composition:  A Collaborative Metanarrative of Conversion and Subversion" tells the story of the relationship between a graduate student and mentor in order to illustrate and complicate that dialectic and to open a dialogue about a part of our profession that is less theorized than many other topics about writing, learning, and teaching.  In describing and analyzing this relationship, this essay attempts to unsettle professional relationships, to subvert unexamined assumptions about mentoring, and to examine how collaborative relationships can help us to exist within the politics of the academy.

Ball, Kevin, and Amy M. Goodburn. "Composition Studies and Service Learning: Appealing to Communities?" Composition Studies (28.1): 79-94.

This essay examines current calls within composition to incorporate service learning within writing classes, particularly with respect to the trope of community.  The authors analyze two sites in which they have used service learning pedagogies--an undergraduate/graduate seminar in literacy studies and a first-year writing class√Ęs partnership with an elementary school class--and discuss various ways that the term community figured within these sites.  They conclude that, to date, discussions about service learning within composition have not represented the learning of community participants nor have they considered the value of this learning for conceptualizing service learning within composition classrooms.

Jones, Donald C. "Engaging Students in the Conflict: Academic Discourse, its Variations, and its Instruction." Composition Studies (28.1): 95-113.

This article describes and theorizes a learning sequence that engages first-year composition students in the debate over academic discourse. Using the students' own opinions and sample academic texts as well as scholarly writing by Nancy Sommers, Peter Elbow, David Bartholomae, and Mike Rose, this sequence teaches students to examine critically their often negative perspectives on academic discourse. They learn to understand better fundamental rhetorical issues such as voice, evidence, and audience, and postmodern concerns such as power, hierarchy, and exclusion. This explicit teaching of the conflict over academic discourse obviously depends on the work of Gerald Graff, but the success of this pedagogy is also explained using the scholarship of John Schilb, Andrea Lunsford, Mikhail Bakhtin, and John Dewey.

Gaillet, Lynee Lewis. "Mina Shaughnessy: Iconic Teacher Figure." Composition Studies (28.1): 131-141.

This essay reviews two recent NCTE publications: Jane Maher's Mina Shaughnessy: Her Life and Work and Bruce Horner and Min-Zhan Lu's Representing the Other: Basic Writers and the Teaching of Basic Writing.  Viewed together, these two works clearly illustrate the paradigm shift evident in the term basic writing, and, at the same time, demonstrate contemporary basic writing's love/hate relationship with Shaughnessy.  Reading Horner and Lu's charges against Shaughnessy alongside Maher's illuminating biography reveals a fuller sense of the rhetorical potentialities in the field of basic writing.