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Writing teachers and theorists face political and pedagogical dangers because of their increasing tendency to align themselves against each other on the side of either rhetoric or composition. As the differences between the two schools widens, writing teachers stand to lose political ground in English departments and their students stand to lose the benefits of a balanced approach to writing. To borrow the terms of Walter H. Beale, the "The Second Rhetorical Awakening," presently in process, is obscuring the advances of the "The First Rhetorical Awakening," which occurred during the mid sixties around the time of Edward P. J. Corbett's "Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student" (1965). While the first wave of rhetorical awareness reminded teachers that writing is a culturally conditioned practice, growing out of a need to address a particular audience, recent discussion of composition pedagogy emphasizes process to the exclusion of concerns about audience and purpose. According to David Blakesley, composition pedagogy carries an ideological edge in its emphasis on sincerity or authenticity, which encourages a carefully mannered, plain style like that of E. B. White. The insights of composition pedagogy should not be lost; nevertheless the means of writing should not take precedence over its ends. (Contains 10 references.) (TB)

Descriptors: Audience Analysis, English Departments, Higher Education, Process Approach (Writing), Rhetoric, Teaching Methods, Theory Practice Relationship, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction, Writing Processes, Writing Teachers

Autor: Minot, Walter S.


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