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End of Composition Studies

End of Composition Studies

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David W. Smit


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
272 pages, 6 x 9


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About the Book

Setting forth an innovative new model for what it means to be a writing teacher in the era of writing across the curriculum, The End of Composition Studies urges a reconceptualization of graduate work in rhetoric and composition, systematically critiques the limitations of current pedagogical practices at the postsecondary level, and proposes a reorganization of all academic units.
David W. Smit calls into question two major assumptions of the field: that writing is a universal ability and that college-level writing is foundational to advanced learning. Instead, Smit holds, writing involves a wide range of knowledge and skill that cannot be learned solely in writing classes but must be acquired by immersion in various discourse communities in and out of academic settings.
The End of Composition Studies provides a compelling rhetoric and rationale for eliminating the field and reenvisioning the profession as truly interdisciplinary—a change that is necessary in order to fulfill the needs and demands of students, instructors, administrators, and our democratic society.


David W. Smit, a professor of English and the director of the Expository Writing Program at Kansas State University, is the author of The Language of a Master: Theories of Style and the Late Writing of Henry James. His articles have appeared in Journal of Advanced Composition, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric SocietyQuarterly, and other journals.


“A major and salutary contribution to debates about the future of rhetoric and composition.”—Stephen North, author of The Making of Knowledge in Composition: Portrait of an Emerging Field