Conference on College Composition and Communication Logo

College Composition and Communication, Vol. 39, No. 4, December 1988

Click here to view the individual articles in this issue at

Myers, Greg. Rev. of Writing about Writing about Scientific Writing: Books on the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge . Knowledge and Reflexivity: New Frontiers in the Sociology of Knowledge by Steve Woolgar; Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behavior by Jonathan Potter and Margaret Wetherell; Science: The Very Idea by Steve Woolgar; Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society by Bruno Latour. CCC 39.4 (1988): 465-474

Williams, Joseph M. Rev. of Toward a Grammar of Passages by Richard M. Coe. CCC 39.4 (1988): 474-478.

Greenberg, Karen L. Rev. of Assessing Writing Skill by Hunter M. Breland, Roberta Camp, Robert J. Jones, Margaret M. Morris, and Donald A. Rock. CCC 39.4 (1988): 478-480.

Hilbert, Betsy. Rev. of Embracing Contraries: Explorations in Learning and Teaching by Peter Elbow. CCC 39.4 (1988): 480-481.

Wilson, Velez H. Rev. of Talking into Writing: Exercises for Basic Writers by Donald L. Rubin and William M. Dodd. CCC 39.4 (1988): 481-482.

Ginn, Doris O. Rev. of Language Diversity and Writing Instruction by Marcia Farr and Harvey Daniels. CCC 39.4 (1988): 482-484.

Lindholdt, Paul J. Rev. of Technical Writing: A Reader-Centered Approach by Paul V. Anderson. CCC 39.4 (1988): 484-485.

Haring-Smith, Tori. Rev. of The Heath Writing across the Curriculum Series Writer’s Guide: Life Sciences by Arthur W. Biddle and Daniel L. Bean; Writer’s Guide: Political Science by Arthur W. Biddle and Kenneth M. Holland; Writer’s Guide: Psychology by Lynne A. Bond and Anthony S. Magistrale; Writer’s Guide: History by Henry J. Steffens and Mary Jane Dickerson. CCC 39.4 (1988): 485-487.

Kaufer, David S., and Erwin R. Steinberg. “Economies of Expression: Some Hypotheses.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 453-457.

Stein, Mark J. “Cost It out.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 458-461.

Snyder, Lolly Ockerstrom. “Telephones and Roommates: Teaching Students What They Know about Writing.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 461-463.

McAlexander, Patricia J. “Advantages of the Cumulative Comment Sheet in Composition Classes.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 463-464.

Fulkerson, Richard. “Technical Logic, Comp-Logic, and the Teaching of Writing.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 436-452.


This article argues that the impetus to teach technical logic in composition is misguided and mishandled in composition textbooks and suggests a better way to teach students how to create effective arguments would be to instruct them in modern informal logic or classical stasis theory. The article shows how composition’s treatment of logic, including instruction in induction, deduction, and fallacy theory, is incomplete and vague. The author goes on to critique the Toulmin model as the solution to teaching students how to structure an argument, but does point out that the model is useful as an invention heuristic. In his conclusion, the author endorses statis theory as a clear, systematic approach to teaching students how to write arguments.


ccc39.4 Argument Logic Stasis CompLogic SToulmin Theory Deduction TechnicalLogic Fallacies Students Composition Induction Models Premises StasisTheory Syllogism

Works Cited

Adelstein, Michael, and Jean G. Pival. The Writing Commitment. New York: Harcourt, 1976.
Aristotle. On Sophistical Refutations. Trans. E. S. Forster. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1955.
Barry, Vincent. Good Reason for Writing. Belmont: Wadsworth, 1983.
Beale, Walter H. Real Writing. 2nd ed. Glenview: Score-Foresman, 1986.
Booth, Wayne, and Marshall Gregory. The Harper & Row Rhetoric. New York: Harper, 1987.
Brockriede, Wayne, and Douglas Ehninger. “Toulmin on Argument: An Interpretation and Application.” Quarterly journal of Speech 46 (Feb. 1960): 44-53. Rpt. in Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric: Selected Readings. Ed. Richard Johannesen. New York: Harper, 1971. 241-55.
Copi, Irving. Introduction to Logic. 7th ed. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Crews, Frederick. “Theory for Whose Sake?” CCTE Studies 51 (Sept. 1986): 9-19.
Dodds, Jack. The Writer in Performance. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Eckhardt, Caroline, and David Stewart. “Towards a Functional Taxonomy of Composition.” CCC 30 (Dec. 30): 338-42. Rpt. in The Writing Teacher’s Sourcebook. Ed. Gary Tate and Edward P. J. Corbett. New York: Oxford, 1981. 100-06.
—. The Wiley Reader: Brief Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979.
Fahnestock, Jeanne, and Marie Secor. A Rhetoric of Argument. New York: Random House, 1982.
—. “Teaching Argument: A Theory of Types.” CCC 34 (Feb. 1983): 20-30.
—. “Toward a Modern Version of Stasis.” Oldspeak/Newspeak Rhetorical Transformations. Ed. Charles W. Kneupper. ArlingtOn: Rhetoric Society of America, 1985. 217-26.
Finocchiaro, Maurice A. “Fallacies and the Evaluation of Reasoning.” American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (Jan. 1981): 13-22.
Fischer, David Hackett. Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. New York: Harper, 1970.
Fisher, Walter. “Technical Logic, Rhetorical Logic, and Narrative Rationality.” Argumentation 1 (1987): 3-21.
Gage, John. The Shape of Reason. New York: Macmillan, 1987.
Gefvert, Constance. The Confident Writer: A Norton Handbook. New York: Norton, 1985.
Gere, Anne Ruggles. Writing and Learning. New York: Macmillan, 1985.
Guinn, Dorothy M., and Daniel Marder. A Spectrum of Rhetoric. Boston: Little, Brown, 1987.
Hairston, Maxine. Contemporary Composition. Shore ed. New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 1986.
Hamblin, C. L. Fallacies. London: Methuen, 1970.
Hartwell, Patrick. Open to Language: A New College Rhetoric. New York: Oxford, 1982.
Hurley, Patrick. A Concise Introduction to Logic. 2nd ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 1985.
Johnson, Ralph, and J. A. Blair. Logical Self-Defense. 2nd ed. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1983.
Joseph, Horace William Brindley. An Introduction to Logic. 2nd rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1906.
Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life. 4rh ed. Belmont: Wadsworrh, 1984.
—. Logic and Philosophy. 5rh ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 1986.
Kaufer, David S., and Christine M. Neuwirth. “Integrating Formal Logic and the New Rhetoric: A Four-Stage Heuristic.” College English 45 (April 1983): 380-89.
Kielkopf, Charles. “Relevant Appeals to Force, Pity, and Popular Pieties.” Informal Logic Newsletter 2 (April 1980): 2-5.
Kneale, William, and Martha Kneale. The Development of Logic. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1962.
Kneupper, Charles W. “Teaching Argument: An Introduction to the Toulmin Model.” CCC 29 (Oct. 1978): 237-41.
Levin, Gerald. Writing and Logic. New York: Harcourt, 1982.
McCall, Raymond J. Basic Logic: The Fundamental Principles of Formal Deductive Reasoning. 2nd ed. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1952.
McCleary, William James. “Teaching Deductive Logic: A Test of the Toulmin and Aristotelian Models for Critical Thinking and College Composition.” Diss. U of Texas at Austin, 1979.
McDonald, Daniel. The Language of Argument. 2nd ed. New York: Harper, 1975.
—. The Language of Argument. 3rd ed. New York: Harper, 1980.
Miller, James E., and Stephen Judy. Writing in Reality. New York: Harper, 1978.
Munson, Ronald. The Way of Words: An Informal Logic. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1976.
Perelman, Chaim. The Realm of Rhetoric. Trans. William Kluback. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 1982.
Perelman, Chaim, and L. Olbrects-Tyteca. The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation. Trans. John Wilkinson and Peircell Weaver. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 1969.
Rottenberg, Annette T. Elements of Argument. New York: St. Martin’s, 1985.
Rottenberg, Annette T. Elements of Argument. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin’s, 1988.
Scriven, Michael. Reasoning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.
Sharvy, Robert Lee. “The Treatment of Argument in Speech Text Books.” Central States Speech Journal 13 (Autumn 1962): 265-69.
Spurgin, Sally DeWitt. The Power to Persuade. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1985.
Toulmin. Stephen. “Logic and the Criticism of Arguments.” The Rhetoric of Western Thought. 3rd ed. Ed. James Golden, Goodwin F. Berquist, and William E. Coleman. Dubuque: Kendal/Hunt, 1983. 391-401.
—. The Uses of Argument. Paperback ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 1963.
Toulmin, Stephen, Richard Rieke, and Allan Janik. An Introduction to Reasoning. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan, 1984.
Weddle, Perry. “Inductive, Deductive.” Informal Logic 22 (Nov. 1979): 1-5.
Winterowd, W. Ross. The Contemporary Writer. 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt, 1981.

Flynn, Elizabeth A. “Composing as a Woman.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 423-435.


The author, noting that feminist inquiry and composition have much in common but have yet to fully engage with other, calls for a feminist approach to composition studies, which would focus on questions of difference and dominance in written language. The article surveys recent feminist research on gender differences in social and psychological development and uses this research to illuminate a case study of four student narratives, two written by women and two by men. The author argues that these student texts suggest that men and women use language in different ways and argues that ignoring the innate differences between men and women can silence female students, as she claims that the field’s models of the composing process are better suited for men.


ccc39.4 Women Composition Men Students Experience Development Identification Gender Studies CGilligan Reading Difference Feminism Knowledge NChodorow MBelenky

Works Cited

Annas, Pamela J. “Silences: Feminist Language Research and the Teaching of Writing.” Teaching Writing: Pedagogy, Gender, and Equity. Ed. Cynthia L. Caywood and Gillian R. Overing. Albany: State U of New York P, 1987. 3-17.
Belenky, Mary Field, et al. Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind. New York: Basic Books, 1986.
Britton, James, et al. The Development of Writing Abilities (11-18). London: Macmillan Education, 1975.
Caywood, Cynthia L., and Gillian R. Overing. Introduction. Teaching Writing: Pedagogy, Gender, and Equity. Ed. Cynthia L. Caywood and Gillian R. Overing. Albany: State U of New York P, 1987. xi-xvi.
Chodorow, Nancy. The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender. Berkeley: U of California P, 1978.
Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1982.
Daeumer, Elisabeth, and Sandra Runzo. “Transforming the Composition Classroom.” Teaching Writing: Pedagogy, Gender, and Equity. Ed. Cynthia L. Caywood and Gillian R. Overing. Albany: State U of New York P, 1987. 45-62.
Gilligan, Carol. In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1982.
Hairston, Maxine. “Breaking Our Bonds and Reaffirming Out Connections.” CCC 36 (October 1985): 272-82.
Howe, Florence. “Identity and Expression: A Writing Course for Women.” College English 32 (May 1971): 863-71. Rpt. in Howe, Myths of Coeducation: Selected Essays, 1964-1983. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1984. 28-37.
Kohlberg, Lawrence. “Moral Stages and Moralization: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach.” Moral Development and Behavior. Ed. T. Lickona. New York: Holt, 1976. 31-53.
Perry, William G. Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970.
Rich, Adrienne. “Taking Women Students Seriously.” On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978. New York: W.W. Norton, 1979. 237-45.
—. ”’When We Dead Awaken’: Writing as Re-Vision.” On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978. New York: W.W. Norton, 1979. 33-49.
Schweickart, Patrocinio P. “Reading Ourselves: Toward a Feminist Theory of Reading.” Gender and Reading: Essays on Readers, Texts and Contexts. Ed. Elizabeth A. Flynn and Patrocinio P. Schweickart. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1986. 31-62.
Showalter, Elaine. “Reading as a Woman: Jonathan Culler and the Deconstruction of Feminist Criticism.” Men and Feminism. Ed. Alice Jardine and Paul Smith. New York: Methuen, 1987. 123-27.
Stanger, Carol A. “The Sexual Politics of the One-to-One Tutorial Approach and Collaborative Learning.” Teaching Writing: Pedagogy, Gender, and Equity. Ed. Cynthia L. Caywood and Gillian R. Overing. Albany: State U of New York P, 1987.31-44.

Sklar, Elizabeth S. “The Tribunal of Use: Agreement in Indefinite Constructions.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 410-422.


This article argues for the reversal of the grammatical rule that mandates singular agreement with indefinite pronouns by looking at the historical construction of the rule, its treatment in a variety of modern handbooks, and its current practical use. The author’s objective is to ease teachers’ instructional burden by adjusting practice to linguistic reality and to suggest the possibility of similarly challenging other rules of traditional grammar whose official sanction may be pragmatically or linguistically unwarranted.


ccc39.4 Rules Agreement Pronouns Plurals Verbs IndefinitePronouns Singularity Gender Grammr Handbooks English Usage

Works Consulted

Barnet, Sylvan, and Marcia Stubbs. Practical Guide to Writing. 3rd ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980.
Baron, Dennis. Grammar and Gender. New Haven: Yale UP, 1986.
Benzel, Kathryn N., and Janne Goldbeck. The Little English Workbook. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1981.
Bodine, Ann. “Androcentrism in Prescriptive Grammar: Singular ‘They,’ Sex-indefinite ‘He,’ and ‘He or She.'” Language in Society 4 (Aug. 1975): 129-46.
Brightland, John, and Charles Gildon. A Grammar of the English Tongue. 1711. Scolar Facsimile Reprints 25. Menston, Eng.: The Scolar Press, 1967.
Brown, Goold. The Grammar of English Grammars. New York: Samuel S. and William Wood, 1851.
—. Institutes of English Grammar. New York: Samuel S. and William Wood, 1832.
Bullions, Peter. A Practical Grammar of the English Language. New York: Sheldon & Co., 1871.
Cobbett, William. A Grammar of the English Language. London: William Cobbett, 1835.
Complete English Grammar. Indiana State Series. Indianapolis: Indiana School Book Company, 1891.
Crews, Frederick, and Ann Jessie Van Santo The Random House Handbook. 4th ed. New York: Random House, 1984.
Duncan, Daniel. A New English Grammar. 1731. Scolar Facsimile Reprints 17. Menston, Eng.: The Scolar Press, 1967.
Erlich, Eugene, and Daniel Murphy. Concise Index to English. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974.
Evans, Bergan, and Cornelia Evans. A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage. New York: Random House, 1957.
Fell, John. An Essay Towards an English Grammar. 1784. Scolar Facsimile Reprints 16. Menston, Eng.: The Scolar Press, 1967.
Gula, Robert J. Precision: A Reference Handbook for Writers. Cambridge: Winthrop, 1980.
Guth, Hans P. New Concise Handbook. Belmont: Wadsworth, 1984.
Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers: A Brief Handbook. New York: St. Martin’s, 1985.
Heffernan, James A.W., and John E. Lincoln. Writing: A College Handbook. 2nd. ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1986.
Herman, William, and Jeffrey M. Young. Troubleshooting: Basic Writing Skills. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978.
Hodges, John c., and Mary E. Whitten. Harbrace College Handbook. 9th ed. New York: Harcourt, 1982.
Jespersen, Otto. A Modern English Grammar. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1927.
Kirkby, John. A New English Grammar. 1746. Scolar Facsimile Reprints 297. Menston, Eng.: The Scolar Press, 1971.
Kirkham, Samuel. English Grammar. New York: M’Elrath, Bangs & Herbert, 1833.
Langan, John. English Skills. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1977.
Leonard, Mary Hall. Grammar and Its Reasons. New York: A.S. Barnes, 1909.
Leonard, Sterling Andrus. Current English Usage. NCTE English Monographs 1. Chicago: NCTE, 1932.
—. The Doctrine of Correctness in English Usage, 1700-1800. University of Wisconsin Studies in Language and Literature 25. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1929.
Lounsbury, Thomas R. The Standard of Usage in English. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1908.
McKnight, George H. Modern English in the Making. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1928.
Morris, Richard. Historical Outlines of English Accidence. London: Macmillan, 1872.
Murray, Lindley. English Grammar. 1795. Scolar Facsimile Reprints 106. Menston, Eng.: The Scolar Press, 1968.
Myers, L.M. American English: A Twentieth Century Grammar. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1952.
Nilsen, Aileen Pace. “Winning the Great He/She Battle.” College English 46 (Feb. 1984): 151-57.
Ohanian, Susan. “A Comment on Aileen Pace Nilsen’s ‘The Great He/She Battle.”’ College English 47 (Sept. 1985): 544-45.
Pooley, Robert C. The Teaching of English Usage. Urbana: NCTE, 1975.
Poutsma, H. A Grammar of Late Modern English. Parr II. Groningen: P. Noordhoff, 1914.
Ramsey, Samuel. The English Language and English Grammar. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1892.
Reed, Alonzo, and Brainerd Kellogg. A Work on English Grammar and Composition. New York: Effingham Maynard, 1891.
Robey, Cora 1., Alice M. Hedrick, and Ethelyn H. Morgan. New Handbook of Basic Writing Skills. 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.
Sklar, Elizabeth S. “Sexist Grammar Revisited.” College English 45 (April 1983): 348-58.
Stanley, Julia. “Sexist Grammar.” College English 39 (March 1979): 800-11.
Strunk, William, Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan, 1979.
Watkins, Floyd c., and William B. Dillingham. Practical English Handbook. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982.
Webster, Noah. Grammatical Institute. Parr II. 1794. Scalar Facsimile Reprints 90. Menston, Eng.: The Scolar Press, 1968.
West, Michael. “Re-editing the MLA’s Guidelines for Journal Editors.” College English 47 (Nov. 1985): 726-33.
Willis, Hulon, and Enno Klammer. A Brief Handbook of English. 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt, 1981.
Wood, Frederick T. Current English Usage. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1962.

Connors, Robert J., and Andrea A. Lunsford. “Frequency of Formal Errors in Current College Writing, or Ma and Pa Kettle Do Research.” CCC 39.4 (1988): 395-409.


The authors, who had studied the history of marking and classifying student writing errors, conducted a study of 3,000 teacher-marked papers of American college freshmen and sophomores to analyze and determine the most common patterns of student writing errors made in the 1980s and which formal and mechanical errors were marked most consistently by American teachers. After generating their own taxonomy of the twenty most common student errors, the authors used fifty raters to analyze the student papers. Their results included finding that college English teachers do not always agree on what is a serious writing error, that teachers mark only 43% of the most serious errors in the papers they grade, and that teachers are less likely to mark an error that requires extensive explanation. This study also debunks claims of educational decline, since the authors, comparing their findings to the results of past studies of student writing errors, found that students in the 1980s make approximately the same number of errors as students earlier in the century.


ccc39.4 Error Papers Teachers Patterns FormalErrors Comma Students Analysis Sentence Agreement Grammar Mechanics Study Research Handbooks

Works Cited

Copeland, Charles T., and Henry M. Rideout. Freshman English and Theme-Correcting at Harvard College. Boston: Silver, Burdett, 1901.
Elbow, Peter. Unpublished document. English Coalition Conference. July 1987.
Harap, Henry. “The Most Common Grammatical Errors.” English Journal 19 (June 1930): 440-46.
Hodges, John C. Harbrace Handbook of English. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1941.
Johnson, Roy Ivan. “The Persistency of Error in English Composition.” School Review 25 (Oct. 1917); 555-80.
Pressey, S. L. “A Statistical Study of Children’s Errors in Sentence-Structures.” English Journal 14 (Sept. 1925); 528-35.
Shaughnessy, Mina P. Errors and Expectations. New York; Oxford UP, 1977.
Sloan, Gary. “The Subversive Effects of an Oral Culture on Student Writing.” CCC 30 (May 1979): 156-60.
Snyder, Thomas D. Digest of Education Statistics 1987. Washington: Center for Education Statistics, 1987.
Williams, Joseph. “The Phenomenology of Error.” CCC 32 (May 1981); 152-68.
Witty, Paul A., and Roberta La Brant Green. “Composition Errors of College Students.” English Journal 19 (May 1930): 388-93.

Renew Your Membership

Join CCCC today!
Learn more about the SWR book series.
Connect with CCCC
CCCC on Facebook
CCCC on LinkedIn
CCCC on Twitter
CCCC on Tumblr
OWI Principles Statement
Join the OWI discussion


Copyright © 1998 - 2024 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use