Composition Theory

The following is a list of useful scholarship on the teaching of writing, with a word or two on each.

Bahls, Patrick. Student Writing in the Quantitative Disciplines: A Guide for College Faculty. San Francisco, Josey-Bass: 2012.

The first two chapters address the role of writing in a course, chapter three covers how to respond to and assess student writing, and chapters four and five give numerous examples of informal and formal writing assignments.  Though the title says it is for the 'quantitative disciplines,' the assignments Bahls offers could easily be adapted across the campus.

Bartholomae, David. Writing on the Margins: Essays on Composition and Teaching. Boston: Bedford / St. Martins, 2005.

This book collects essays from the leading figure in composition theory.  Bartholomae addresses the relationship between the student and the academy, and what it means to learn to write within that fraught space.

Bean, John C. Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning into the Classroom. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Josey-Bass, 2011.

Bean shows the relationship between writing and thinking, and he offers guidance on designing problem-based assignments, teaching students to be critical thinkers, and responding to their writing.  He also includes chapters on teaching reading and using small groups effectively.

Glenn, Cheryl, and Melissa A. Goldthwaite. The St. Martin's Guide to Teaching Writing. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2014.

This book is guided by three principles: that writing is an art that can be taught and learned, that students learn to write through trial and error, and that composition theory should turn into useful classroom practice.

Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. 3rd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014.

The best-selling textbook in Composition, They Say / I Say offers sentence templates to teach students to write as academics do.

Gottschalk, Katherine, and Keith Hjortshoj. The Elements of Teaching Writing: A Resource for Instructors of All Disciplines. Boston: Bedford / St. Martins, 2004.

Gottschalk and Hjortshoj guide writing teachers through designing a course, designing an assignment sequence, responding to student writing, using informal writing in class, teaching the sentence, and teaching the research paper, among other things.  The book suggests methods to integrate writing into a variety of courses taught across campus.

Hayot, Eric. The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities. New York: Columbia UP, 2014.

Hayot addresses what it means to write in the humanities, devoting chapters to paragraph structure, sentence-level style, footnotes, pacing, transitions, metalanguage, titles and subtitles, citations, oral presentations, jargon, and on and on.

Hedengren, Beth Finch. A TA's Guide to Teaching Writing in All Disciplines. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2004.

Although aimed at TAs, this book offers useful guidance to faculty as well, offering many practical suggestions on conferencing with students, in-class workshops, responding to student writing, evaluating student writing, and dealing with plagiarism.

 

Lindemann, Erika. A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers. 4th ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2001.

This book is aimed primarily at English teachers, but Lindemann's insights on the rhetorical situation and the writing process, as well as on practical concerns like syllabus and assignment design, are relevant to writing teachers across campus.

White, Edward M. Assigning, Responding, Evaluating: A Writing Teacher's Guide. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2007.

White, a leading figure in assessment, offers guidance on helping students do well on writing assignments--that is, what writing teachers can do to set students up to succeed when they write--, responding to student writing, and evaluating that writing.  He also covers the benefits of Portfolios as an assessment method.

Zawacki, Terry Myers, and Paul M. Rogers. Writing across the Curriculum: A Critical Sourcebook. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's 2012.

This book collects articles from leading figures in Composition writing on what it means, and how, to teach writing across the curriculum.  Zawacki and Rogers devote chapters to the history of writing across the curriculum, what it looks like in practice, how to research it, how it might expand even further across campus, and how such programs and courses and curricula might be assessed.