Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900-1985

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Southern Illinois University Press, 1987 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 222 pages
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Intended for teachers of college composition, this history of major and minor developments in the teaching of writing in twentieth-century American colleges employs a taxonomy of theories based on the three epistemological categories (objective, subjective, and transactional) dominating rhetorical theory and practice. The first section of the book provides an overview of the three theories, specifically their assumptions and rhetorics. The main chapters cover the following topics: (1) the nineteenth-century background, on the formation of the English department and the subsequent relationship of rhetoric and poetic; (2) the growth of the discipline (1900-1920), including the formation of the National Council of Teachers of English, the appearance of the major schools of rhetoric, the efficiency movement, graduate education in rhetoric, undergraduate courses and the Great War; (3) the influence of progressive education (1920-1940), including the writing program and current-traditional rhetoric, liberal culture, and expressionistic and social rhetoric; (4) the communication emphasis (1940-1960), including the communications course, the founding of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, literature and composition, linguistics and composition, and the revival of rhetoric; and (5) the renaissance of rhetoric and major rhetorical approaches (1960-1975), including contemporary theories based on the three epistemic categories. A final chapter briefly surveys developments through 1987. (JG)

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Review: Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900 - 1985

User Review  - Mel Murata - Goodreads

Berlin is such a lovely writer and this history is both wonderfully researched and perceptive. Read full review

Contents

An Overview
1
The NineteenthCentury Background
20
19001920
32
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About the author (1987)

James A. Berlin is Director of Freshman English at the University of Cincinnati.

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