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College Composition and Communication, Vol. 40, No. 4, December 1989

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Bizzell, Patricia. Rev. of The Social Construction of Written Communication by Bennett A. Rafoth and Donald L. Rubin. CCC 40.4 (1989): 483-486.

Arrington, Phillip, and Frank Farmer. Rev. of Three Steps to Revising Your Writing for Style, Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling by Barbara E. Walvoord; Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams; Clear and Coherent Prose: A Functional Approach by William Vande Kopple. CCC 40.4 (1989): 486-489.

Ney, James W. Rev. of The Complete Plain Words by Ernest Gowers, Sidney Greenbaum, and Janet Whitcut. CCC 40.4 (1989): 489-490.

Raimes, Ann. Rev. of Writing across Languages and Cultures: Issues in Contrastive Rhetoric by Alan C. Purves. CCC 40.4 (1989): 491-492.

Ray, Ruth, and Ellen Barton. “Response to Christina Haas and Linda Flower, “Rhetorical Reading Strategies and the Construction of Meaning.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 480-481.

Haas, Christina, and Linda Flower. “Reply by Christina Haas and Linda Flower.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 482.

Shen, Fan. “The Classroom and the Wider Culture: Identity as a Key to Learning English Composition.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 459-466.

Murphy, Richard J., Jr. “On Stories and Scholarship.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 466-472.

Schriner, Delores K. and William C. Rice. “Computer Conferencing and Collaborative Learning: A Discourse Community at Work.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 472-478.

Tobin, Lad. “Bridging Gaps: Analyzing Our Students’ Metaphors for Composing.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 444-458.


In this article, the author argues that teachers of writing should consider more closely their students’ metaphors for writing, both those that express frustration and confusion and those that communicate excitement and enjoyment. The author, citing metaphor as a powerful learning and teaching tool, suggests that teachers activity elicit their students’ metaphors for writing to as a starting point to discuss with their students issues of classroom power dynamics, instructor authority, and attitude towards writing.


ccc40.4 Writing Metaphor Students Writers Process Relationship Teachers Frustration Topic Concept

Works Cited

Belenky, Mary Field, et al. Womens’ Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind. New York: Basic Books, 1986.
Berthoff, Ann E. Forming/Thinking/Writing: The Composing Imagination. Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1982.
Booth, Wayne C. “Metaphor as Rhetoric: The Problem of Evaluation.” On Metaphor. Ed. Sheldon Sacks. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1978.47-70.
DeFrees, Madeline. “The Radical Activity of Writing Poems.” Spectrum. San Diego: Harcourt, 1987. 411-24.
Elbow, Peter. Writing Without Teachers. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1973.
Emig, Janet. The Web of Meaning: Essays on Writing, Teaching, Learning, and Thinking. Ed. Dixie Goswami and Maureen Butler. Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1983.
Flower, Linda, and John R. Hayes. “The Cognition of Discovery: Defining a Rhetorical Problem.” The Writing Teacher’s Sourcebook. 2nd ed. Ed. Gary Tate and Edward P.J. Corbett. New York: Oxford UP, 1988. 92-102.
—. “Images, Plans, and Prose: The Representation of Meaning in Writing.” Written Communication 1 (January 1984): 120-60.
Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1980.
Murray, Donald M. “How the Text Instructs: Writing Teaches Writing.” Unpublished Paper Presented at the Miami University Conference on Writing Teacher as Researcher. Oxford, Ohio, Oct. 1988.
—. “Internal Revision: A Process of Discovery.” Learning By Teaching 72-87.
—. Learning By Teaching: Selected Articles on Writing and Teaching. Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1982.
Percy, Walker. “Metaphor as Mistake.” Reclaiming the Imagination: Philosophical Perspectives for Writers and Teachers of Writers. Ed. Ann E. Berthoff. Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1984. 132-44.
Perelman, Chaim. “The New Rhetoric: A Theory of Practical Reasoning.” The Rhetoric of Western Thought. 3rd ed. Ed. James L. Golden, Goodwin F. Berquist, and William E. Coleman. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1983. 403-23.
Peterson, Linda. “Repetition and Metaphor in the Early Stages of Composing.” CCC 36 (December 1985): 429-43.
Richards, I. A. The Philosophy of Rhetoric. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1936.
Rose, Mike. Writer’s Block: The Cognitive Dimension. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1984.
Rubin, Lois. “Uneven Performance: What Students Do and Don’t Know About Their Own Writing.” Writing Instructor 4 (Summer 1985): 157-68.
Shaughnessy, Mina. Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing. New York: Oxford UP, 1977.
Smith, Louise. “Enigma Variations: Reading and Writing Through Metaphor.” Only Connect: Uniting Reading and Writing. Ed. Thomas Newkirk. Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1986. 158-73.
Tomlinson, Barbara. “Characters Are Coauthors: Segmenting the Self, Integrating the Composing Process.” Written Communication 3 (October 1986): 421-48.
—. “Talking About Composing: The Limitations of Retrospective Accounts.” Written Communication 1 (October 1984): 429-45.
—. “Tuning, Tying, and Training Texts: Metaphors for Revision.” Written Communication 5 (January 1988): 58-80.
Tracy, David. “Metaphor and Religion: The Test Case of Christian Texts.” On Metaphor. Ed. Sheldon Sacks. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1978. 89-104.
Weaver, Richard M. The Ethics of Rhetoric. Davis: Hermagoras, 1985.

Schilb, John. “Composition and Poststructuralism: A Tale of Two Conferences.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 422-443.


This article explores what the place of poststructural theories should be in the field of composition by comparing the histories of composition and poststructuralism through looking at two different conferences that took place in the 1960s: the 1963 CCCC meeting and a 1966 conference at Johns Hopkins entitled “The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man.” The author pairs participants from each conference and imagines they might say if they were brought together, noting in particular how each person defined rhetoric, which enlightens the current debate between composition and poststructuralist scholars over the term. In his conclusion, the author proposes that English departments embrace the conflicting variety of definitions of rhetoric in order to become a richer community of scholars.


ccc40.4 Rhetoric Composition Poststructuralism JDerrida WBooth ECorbett Writing RBarthes JLacan Language LiteraryTheory JohnsHopkins History CCCC Discourse Theory Scholarship Linguistics Conferences

Works Cited

Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.” Lenin and Philosophy. Trans. Ben Brewster. New York: Monthly Review, 1971. 127-86.
Atkins, G. Douglas, and Michael 1. Johnson, eds. Writing and Reading Differently: Deconstruction and the Teaching of Composition and Literature. Lawrence; UP of Kansas, 1985.
Barthes, Roland. “The Old Rhetoric: an aide-memoire.” The Semiotic Challenge. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1988. 11-94.
—. S/Z. Trans. Richard Miller. New York: Hill and Wang, 1974.
—. “To Write: An Intransitive Verb?” Macksey and Donato 134-45.
Bartholomae, David. ” Freshman English, Composition, and CCCC .” CCC 40 (February 1989); 38-50.
Berlin, James. “Rhetoric and Ideology in the Writing Class.” College English 50 (September 1988): 477-94.
Berthoff, Ann E. “How Philosophy Can Help Us.” Pre/Text 9 (Spring/Summer 1988): 61-66.
Booth, Wayne. Critical Undemanding: The Powers and Limits of Pluralism. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1979.
—. “The Rhetorical Stance.” CCC 14 (October 1963): 139-45.
Brereton, John, ed. Traditions of Inquiry. New York: Oxford UP, 1985.
Brooke, Robert. “Control in Writing: Flower, Derrida, and Images of the Writer.” College English 51 (April 1989): 405-17.
—. “Lacan, Transference, and Writing Instruction.” College English 49 (October 1987): 679-91.
Bruffee, Kenneth. “Collaborative Learning and the ‘Conversation of Mankind.'” College English 46 (November 1984): 635-52.
Christensen, Francis. “A Generative Rhetoric of the Sentence.” CCC 14 (October 1963): 155-61.
Clifford, John, and John Schilb. “A Perspective on Eagleton’s Revival of Rhetoric.” Rhetoric Review 6 (Fall 1987): 22-31.
Comley, Nancy R. “A Release from Weak Specifications: Liberating the Student Reader.” Atkins and Johnson 129-38.
Connors, Robert, Lisa S. Ede, and Andrea Lunsford. “The Revival of Rhetoric in America.” Essays on Classical Rhetoric and Modern Discourse. Ed. Connors, Ede, and Lunsford. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1984. 1-15.
Corbett, Edward P. J. “Literature and Composition: Allies or Rivals in the Classroom?” Horner 168-84.
—. “The Usefulness of Classical Rhetoric.” CCC 14 (October 1963): 162-64.
Corder, Jim W., and James S. Baumlin. “Lonesomeness in English Studies.” ADE Bulletin 85 (Winter 1986): 36-39.
Covino, William A. The Art of Wondering: A Revisionist Return to the History of Rhetoric. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook, 1988.
Crowley, Sharon. “Of Gorgias and Grammatology.” CCC 30 (October 1979): 279-84.
—. “writing and Writing.” Atkins and Johnson 93-100.
Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1982.
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de Man, Paul. Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979.
Derrida, Jacques. “Afterword: Toward An Ethic of Discussion.” Trans. Samuel Weber. Limited Inc 111-60.
—. Limited Inc. Ed. Gerald Graff. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1988.
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—. “Psyche: Inventions of the Other.” Trans. Catherine Porter. Reading de Man Reading. Ed. Lindsay Waters and Wlad Godzich. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1989.25-65.
—. “Signature Event Context.” Trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman. Limited Inc 1-23.
—. “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences.” Macksey and Donato 247-65.
—. “White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy,” Margins of Philosophy. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1982. 207-71.
Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1983.
Ede, Lisa, and Andrea Lunsford. “Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked: The Role of Audience in Composition Theory and Pedagogy.” CCC 35 (May 1984): 155-71.
Faigley, Lester. “The Study of Writing and the Study of Language.” Rhetoric Review 7 (Spring 1989): 240-56.
Felman, Shoshana. Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1987.
Graff, Gerald. Professing Literature: An Institutional History. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987.
Hairston, Maxine. “Breaking Our Bonds and Reaffirming Our Connections.” CCC 36 (October 1985): 272-82.
Harned, Jon. “Post-Structuralism and the Teaching of Composition.” Freshman English News 15.2 (Fall 1986): 10-16.
Harris, Joseph. “The Plural Text/The Plural Self: Roland Barthes and William Coles.” College English 49 (February 1987): 158-70.
Horner, Winifred Bryan, ed. Composition and Literature: Bridging the Gap. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983.
Johnson, Barbara. A World of Difference. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1987.
Knoblauch, C. H., and Lil Brannon. Rhetorical Traditions and the Teaching of Writing. Upper Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1984.
Kaufer, David, and Gary Waller. “To Write Is to Read Is to Write, Right?” Atkins and Johnson 66-92.
Lacan, Jacques. Ecrits: A Selection, Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Norton, 1977.
—. “Of Structure as an Inmixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever.” Macksey and Donato 186-95.
Lentricchia, Frank. After the New Criticism. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1980.
Macksey, Richard. “Lions and Squares: Opening Remarks.” Macksey and Donato. 1-14.
Macksey, Richard, and Eugenio Donato, eds. The Structuralist Controversy: The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1972.
Miller, J. Hillis. “The Two Rhetorics: George Eliot’s Bestiary.” Atkins and Johnson 101-14.
Neel, Jasper. Plato, Derrida, and Writing. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1988.
North, Stephen N. The Making of Knowledge in Composition: Portrait of an Emerging Field. Upper Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1987.
Northam, Paul. “Heuristics and Beyond: Deconstruction/Inspiration and the Teaching of Writing Invention.” Atkins and Johnson 115-28.
Ohmann, Richard. “Use Definite, Concrete, Specific Language.” College English 41 (December 1979): 390-97.
Petersen, Bruce T., ed. Convergences: Transactions in Reading and Writing. Urbana: NCTE, 1986.
Phelps, Louise Wetherbee. Composition as a Human Science: Contributions to the Self-Understanding of a Discipline. New York: Oxford UP, 1988.
Rorty, Richard. Consequences of Pragmatism. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1982.
Schilb, John. “Deconstructing Didion: Poststructuralist Rhetorical Theory in the Composition Classroom.” Literary Nonfiction: Theory, Criticism, Pedagogy. Ed. Chris Anderson. Urbana: Southern Illinois UP, 1989. 262-86.
—. “The History of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of History.” Pre/Text 7 (Spring/Summer 1986): 11-34.
—. “Ideology and Composition Scholarship.” Journal of Advanced Composition 8 (1988): 22-29.
Snyder, Carol. “Analyzing Classifications: Foucault for Advanced Writers.” CCC 35 (May 1984): 209-16.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. New York: Methuen, 1987.
Swearingen, C. Jan. “Bloomsday for Literacy: How Reactionaries and Relativists Alike Undermine Literacy While Seeming to Promote It.” Freshman English News 17.1 (Fall 1988): 2-5.
Vitanza, Victor J. “Rhetoric’s Past and Future: A Conversation with Edward P.J. Corbett.” Pre/Text 8 (Fall/Winter 1987): 247-64.
Weber, Samuel. Institution and Interpretation. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987.
Wells, Susan. “Classroom Heuristics and Empiricism.” College English 39 (December 1977): 467-76.
White, Edward M. “Post-Structural Literary Criticism and the Response to Student Writing.” CCC 35 (May 1984): 186-95.
Winterowd, W. Ross. “The Purification of Literature and Rhetoric.” College English 49 (March 1987): 257-73.
Zavarzadeh, Mas’ud, and Donald Morton. “Theory Pedagogy Politics: The Crisis of ‘The Subject’ in the Humanities.” Boundary 2 15 (Fall 1986/Winter 1987): 1-22.

Hoetker, James, and Gordon Brossell. “The Effects of Systematic Variations in Essay Topics on the Writing Performance of College Freshmen.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 414-421.


The authors conducted a study of Florida’s College-Level Academic Skills Test to see whether or not lower-level writers are put at a disadvantage when asked to respond to an open-ended frame topic instead of a more explicit, rhetorically situated essay question. Their study found that essay questions that gave more information about the rhetorical situation for the response, including information about audience and purpose, did not elicit better essays from either high-level or low-level writers than the frame topics.


ccc40.4 Topics Essays Students Scores Variations Readers Ability Practice Questions Writing Assessment Writers

Works Cited

Brossell, Gordon C “Rhetorical Specification in Essay Examination Topics.” College English 33 (December 1982): 165-73.
Brossell, Gordon C, and Barbara Hoetker Ash. “An Experiment with the Wording of Essay Topics.” CCC 35 (December 1984): 423-25.
Greenberg, Karen. The Effects of Variations in Essay Questions on the Writing Performance of CUNY Freshmen. New York: Instructional Resources Center, City University of New York, 1981.
McAndrew, Donald A. The Effects of an Assigned Rhetorical Context on the Holistic Quality and Syntax of the Writing of High and Low Ability College Writers. ERIC, 1981. ED 235 481.
—. “The Effects of an Assigned Rhetorical Context on the Syntax and Holistic Quality of the Writing of First Year College Students.” DA 43 (1982): 2911A. State U of New York at Buffalo.
Ruth, Leo, and Sandra Murphy. “Designing Topics for Writing Assessments: Problems of Meaning.” CCC 35 (December 1984): 410-42.

Faigley, Lester. “Judging Writing, Judging Selves.” CCC 40.4 (1989): 395-412.


This article, using recent theories of the self from a variety of disciplines, compares a 1929 admissions essay test with a recent collect of best student essays to show that teachers of writing look for the individual self in student texts – teachers are just as concerned about the student self that is presented in the text as the text itself. Students in the 1929 received high marks for incorporating references to standard sophisticated literary works and providing thoughtful reflection; students in the 1980s were rated highly if they wrote with an authentic voice, often resulting in first-person autobiographical essays. The author claims that insisting that students write authentically assumes a self-understanding that many do not possess yet, resulting in student writing that adopts a position of authority and power rather than writing that is grounded in a determined sense of self.


ccc40.4 Writing Self Students Writers Letters Essays Literature Autobiography WColes Evaluation

Works Cited

Adelstein, Michael E., and Jean G. Pival. The Writing Commitment. 4th ed. San Diego: Harcourt, 1988.
Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.” Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays. Trans. Ben Brewster. London: New Left Books, 1971. 121-73.
Applebee, Arthur. Tradition and Reform in the Teaching of English: A History. Urbana: NCTE, 1974.
Baker, Sheridan. The Practical Stylist. 6th ed. New York: Harper, 1985.
Bartholomae, David. “Inventing the University.” When A Writer Can’t Write. Ed. Mike Rose. New York: Guilford, 1985. 134-65.
Belsey, Catherine. Critical Practice. London: Methuen, 1980. Berlin, James A. Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900-1945. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1987.
Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984.
Coles, William E., Jr., and James Vopat, What Makes Writing Good. Lexington: Heath, 1985.
Commission on English. Examining the Examination in English: A Report to the College Entrance Examination Board. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1931.
Diederich, Paul B. Measuring Growth in English, Urbana: NCTE, 1974.
Doi, Takeo, The Anatomy of Dependence. Trans. John Brewster, Tokyo: Kodansha, 1973.
Easthope, Anthony. British Post-Structuralism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988.
Foucault, Michel. “The Discourse on Language.” The Archaeology of Knowledge. Trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.215-37.
Harris, Joseph. “The Plural Text/The Plural Self: Roland Barthes and William Coles.” College English 49 (February 1987): 158-70.
Heath, Shirley Brice. “Toward an Ethnohistory of Writing in American Education.” Writing: The Nature, Development, and Teaching of Written Communication. Vol. 1. Ed, Marcia Farr Whiteman. Hillsdale: Erlbaum, 1981. 25-45,
Kerek, Andrew, Don Daiker, and Max Morenberg, “Sentence Combining and College Composition.” Perceptual and Motor Skills: Monograph Supplement 51 (1980): 1059-1157.
Mauss, Marcel. “A Category of the Human Mind: The Notion of Person; The Notion of Self.” Trans, W. D. Halls. The Category of the Person: Anthropology, Philosophy, History, Ed. Michael Carrithers, Steven Collins, and Steven Lukes. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. 1-25, Trans, of “Une Categorie de l’Esprit Humain: La Notion de Personne, Celle de ‘Moi.'” 1938.
Morgan, Bob, “Three Dreams of Language; Or, No Longer Immured in the Bastille of the Humanist Word,” College English 49 (April 1987): 449-58.
North, Stephen M. The Making of Knowledge in Composition: Portrait of an Emerging Field, Upper Montclair: Boynton/Cook, 1987.
Sommers, Nancy. “Responding to Student Writing.” CCC 33 (May 1982): 148-56.
Spring, Joel. The American School: 1642-1985. New York: Longman, 1986,
Therborn, Goran. The Ideology of Power and the Power of Ideology, London: Verso, 1980.
Thompson, John B. Studies in the Theory of Ideology. Cambridge: Polity, 1984.
Trachsel, Mary. “The History of College Entrance Examinations in English: A Record of Academic Assumptions about Literacy,” Diss. U of Texas, 1987.
Urban, Greg, “The ‘I’ of Discourse.” Semiotics, Self, and Society, Ed. Benjamin Lee and Greg Urban. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, in press.
Weedon, Chris. Feminist Practice and Poststructuralist Theory, London: Basil Blackwell, 1987.

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