The Territory of Language: Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition

The Territory of Language: Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition

The Territory of Language: Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition

The Territory of Language: Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition

Synopsis

A new revised and expanded version of the book that became an "underground classic" in the world of composition. The contributors report on significant research and theory in composition as well as methods of effectively teaching writing to the current generation of composition students. Included are essays by David Bartholomae, Ann Berthoff, Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg, Kenneth Bruffee, John Clifford, Robert Connors, Edward P. J. Corbett, Donald Daiker, Andrew Kerek and Max Morenberg, Frank D'Angelo, Robert Di Yanni, Lester Faigley, Donald Freeman, D. G. Kehl, James Kinneavy, Richard Larson, Elaine Maimon, Louis Milic, Ellen Nold, Sondra Perl and Arthur Egendorf, Sandra Schor, Judith Fishman Summerfield and Geoffrey Summerfield, Joseph Williams, Ross Winterowd, and Richard Young.

Excerpt

The publication of The Territory of Language marks the return--in a thoroughly revised and generously expanded form--of a book that became something of an underground classic following its appearance in 1979. Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition offered teachers of writing a broad sampling of the thought-provoking work of some of this nation's most distinguished composition theorists. The volume focused on how composition theory might draw on linguistics and stylistics to elucidate both the nature of the writing process as well as on the pedagogical strategies that could help students establish more practiced authority over the skills needed to write effectively.

Despite the attention it received, the volume disappeared from all but the most resolute of readers' eyes. Printed in a storefront operation in Akron, Ohio, and "distributed" much later from the basement of an academic who has since left the profession for "greener" fields, Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition proved easier to order than to receive. The volume fell out of print within a year. Through the kindness of Edmund Epstein, the editor of Language and Style, Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition was revived briefly as a special edition of that journal. More recently, Kenney Withers, the gracious, intelligent, and dedicated director of Southern Illinois University Press, agreed to publish a revised and expanded version as a service to the community of professionals committed to encouraging scholarship in composition. To reflect the extent of the changes in this new edition and to signal its association with what has become the leading university press in composition studies, the volume bears a new title, The Territory of Language.

I have drawn the title of this collection from an especially incisive passage in Mina Shaughnessy Errors and Expectations, a work that remains our profession's most eloquent and humanistic introduction to the challenges and satisfactions of teaching basic writing. From the outset, Mina Shaughnessy writes with great sensitivity about the pressures and confusions students contend with each time they set out to write:

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