Production and Consumption of Composition Textbooks: What Can We DoReport as inadecuate

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For good or ill, textbooks are the most widespread means of disseminating theoretically-informed practices in the field of composition and rhetoric. In fact, in spite of the growing number of graduate programs concentrating on composition theory, pedagogy, and rhetoric, composition textbooks still reach more teachers and more students than scholarly discussions. There are a number of actions that reviewers of the composition textbooks--practicing composition scholars--can practice that would do much to insure that textbooks contain responsible material. First, the reviewer should agree to review the book only if he or she is associated with the course in question. Second, the reviewer should examine and critique whether or not the text fulfills the pedagogical claims it makes in the prefatory material. Third, the reviewer should support scholars and teachers within the composition community by"blowing the whistle" on those who capitalize on fads and trends and support books written by academics rather than by freelance writers. Fourth, reviewers should call for better instructor resources and better technological support at every opportunity. (Contains 13 references.) (TB)

Descriptors: Higher Education, Publications, Rhetoric, Rhetorical Theory, Scholarship, Textbook Content, Textbooks, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction

Author: Miles, Libby


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