A Bibliography of Seminal Works in Composition Studies

Cross-Talk in Comp Theory

The composition scholar Victor Villanueva has produced an excellent edited collection which provides an overview of the field of Composition Studies. The entire book is available online here:

Villanueva, Victor, Ed., Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Second Edition, Revised and Updated. National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL, 2003


A Word of Thanks

The amazing bibliography below was originally compiled by Mary Jo Reif, Professor of English at the University of Kansas. Thanks to Dr. Reif for publishing this extremely useful resource on the web.


Composition Studies Bibliography

Bazerman, Charles. “Where is the Classroom?” English Basics, Winter 1992. Reprinted in Learning and Teaching Genre, ed. Freedman and Medway. Boynton-Cook, 1994.

Bitzer, Lloyd F. “The Rhetorical Situation.” Philosophy and Rhetoric 1.1 (1968): 1-14.  Rpt. Rhetoric: Concepts, Definitions, Boundaries. William A. Covino ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon: 1995.

Berlin, James A. “Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories” College English 44 (Dec. 1982): 565-767.

Berlin, James. “Rhetoric and Ideology in the Writing Class” College English 50.4 (Sept. 1988): 477-94.

Bizzell, Patricia. “Cognition, Convention, and Certainty: What We Need to Know about Writing” Pre/Text: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory 3:3 (Fall 1982): 213-43.

Bizzell, Patricia. “Contact Zones” and English Studies College English 56.2 (Feb. 1994): 163-169.

Brandt, Deborah. “Sponsors of Literacy.” CCC 49.2 (1998): 165-185.

Bruffee, Kenneth A. “Collaborative Learning and the ‘Conversation of Mankind'” College English 46 (Nov. 1984): 635-52.

Canagarajah, A. Suresh. “Safe Houses in the Contact Zone: Coping Strategies of African-American Students in the Academy” College Composition and Communication 48.2/May 1997: 173-96.

Canagarajah, A Suresh. “The Place of World Englishes in Composition: Pluralization Continued” College Composition and Communication 57.4 (June 2006): 589-619.

Connors, Robert J. “The Rise and Fall of the Modes of Discourse.” College Composition and Communication 32 (Dec. 1981): 444-63.

Crowley, Sharon. “The Politics of Composition.” Composition in the University: Historical and Polemical Essays. Pittsburgh, PA: U of Pittsburgh P, 1998. 215-27.

Dean, Terry. “Multicultural Classrooms, Monocultural Teachers.” College Composition and Communication 40 (1989): 23-37.

Devitt, Amy “Teaching Critical Genre Awareness.” Genre in a Changing World. Eds. Charles Bazerman et al. Parlor and WAC Clearinghouse, 2009. 337-51.

Elbow, Peter. “Embracing Contraries in the Teaching Process” College English 45.4 (Apr. 1983): 327-339.

Elbow, Peter. “Freewriting Exercises.” Writing without Teachers. New York: Oxford UP, 1973. 3-11.

Faigley, Lester. “Competing Theories of Process: A Critique and a Proposal.” College English 48 (Oct. 1986): 527-42.

Fife, Jane Mathison. “Using Facebook to Teach Rhetorical Analysis.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 10.3 (2010): 555-73.

Flower, Linda and John R. Hayes, “A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing'” College Composition and Communication 32 (Dec. 1981): 365-87.

Freeland, Kate. “Awakening the Writer’s Identity through Conferences.” Practice in Context. Eds, Cindy Moore and Peggy O’Neill. NCTE, 2002. 244-253.

Fulkerson, Richard. “Composition at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century” College Composition and Communication 56 (June 2005): 654-687.

Fulkerson, Richard. “Four Philosohphies of Composition” College Composition and Communication 30 (Dec. 1979): 343-48.

Graff, Gerald. “Why Johnny Can’t Argue.” Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind. New Haven: Yale UP, 2003.155-72.

Grant-Davie, Keith.  “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” Rhetoric Review 15.2 (1997): 264-79.

Hairston, Maxine. “The Winds of Change: Thomas Kuhn and the Revolution in the Teaching of Writing.” College Composition and Communication 33 (1982): 76-88.

Hairston, Maxine. “Stories Against the Grain–A Last Hurrah,” College Composition and Communication, 1993.

“Counterstatement: Responses to Maxine Hairston.” College Composition and Communication 44 (May 1993): 248-56.

Harris, Joseph. “The Idea of Community in the Study of Writing.” College Composition and Communication 40 (1989): 11-22.

Haswell, Janis, and Richard H. Haswell. “Gendership and the Miswriting of Students.” College Composition and Communication 46 (May 1995): 223-54.

Haswell, Richard. “Minimal Marking” College English 45.6 (Oct. 1983): 600-604.

Hawisher, Gail and Cynthia Selfe.  “Becoming Literate in the Information Age: Cultural Ecologies and the Literacies ofTechnology” College Composition and Communication, 55.4 (Jun. 2004): 642-692.

Hilbert, Betsy.  “It Was a Dark and Nasty Night It Was a Dark and You Would Not Believe How Dark It Was a Hard Beginning” College Composition and Communication 43.1 (Feb.1992): 75-80.

Hull, Glynda, and Mike Rose. “‘This Wooden Shack Place’: The Logic of an Unconventional Reading.” College Composition and Communication 41.3 (Oct. 1990): 287-98.

Johns, Ann M. “Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice: Membership, Conflict, Diversity.” Text, Role, and Context: Academic Literacies. Cambridge UP, 1997. Rpt. Writing about Writing. Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs. Bedford St. Martin’s, 2011. 498-517.

Klaus, Carl. “Public Opinion and Professional Belief” College Composition and Communication 27 (Dec. 1976): 335-40.

Lamb, Catherine E. “Beyond Argument in Feminist Composition.” College Composition and Communication 42 (1991): 11-24.

Lindgren, Margaret. “The Teaching Portfolio: Practicing What We Teach.” Preparing College Teachers of Writing. Eds. Betty Pytlik and Sarah Liggett. New York: Oxford, 2002.

Lynch, Dennis, et al. “Moments of Argument: Agonistic Inquiry and Confrontational Cooperation.” College Composition and Communication 48.1 (Feb. 1997): 61-85.

Macrorie, Ken. “Engfish.” Uptaught. New York: Hayden Book Co, 1970. 9-18.

Miller, Richard. “Fault Lines in the Contact Zone” College English 56.4 (Apr 1994): 389-408.

Mirabelli, Tony. “Learning to Serve: The Language and Literacy of Food Service Workers.” What They Don’t Learn in School: Literacy in the Lives of Urban Youth. Ed. Jabari Mahiri. New York, Peter Lang, 2004. 143-62.

Murray, Donald. “All Writing Is Autobiography.” College Composition and Communication 42.1 (Feb. 1991): 66-74.

Murray, Donald. “Making Meaning Clear: The Logic of Revision” Learning by Teaching. Montclair: Boynton, 1982.

Murray, Donald. “The Listening Eye: Reflections on the Writing Conference” College English 41.1 (Sep. 1979): 13-18.

Murray, Donald. “The Interior View.” Learning by Teaching. Boynton/Cook, 1982. 7-14. 

Murray, Donald. “Teach Writing as  Process Not Product.”  The Leaflet (Nov. 1972): 11-14. Rpt. In Cross-Talk in Comp Theory. Ed. Victor Villanueva. 2003. 

Reither, James A. “Writing and Knowing: Toward Redefining the Writing Process” College English 47.6 (Oct.1985): 620-628.

Roskelly, Hephzibah. “The Risky Business of Group Work.” The Writing Teacher’s Sourcebook. 3rd. ed. Eds, Gary Tate et al. New York: Oxford UP, 1994. 141-46.

Selzer, Jack. “Rhetorical Analysis: Understanding How Texts Persuade Readers”What Writing Does and How It Does It. Ed. Charles Bazerman and Paul Prior. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 2003. 279-307.

Smith, Summer. “The Genre of the End Comment: Conventions in Teacher Responses to Student Writing” College Composition and Communication 48.2 (May, 1997): 249-268.

Sommers, Nancy. “Between the Drafts.” College Composition and Communication 43.1 (Feb. 1992): 23-31.

Swales, John. ”The Concept of Discourse Community.” Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Boston: Cambridge UP, 1990.21-32. Print. 

Wardle, Elizabeth. “Identity, Authority, and Learning to Write in New Workplaces.” Enculturation

Webb-Sunderhaus, Sara. “A Family Affair: Competing Sponsors of Literacy in Appalachian Students’ Lives.” Community Literacy Journal 2.1 (2007).

Wiener, Harvey S. “Collaborative Learning in the Classroom: A Guide to Evaluation.” College English 48 (Jan. 1986): 52-61.

Williams, Bronwyn T. “Heroes, Rebels, and Victims: Student Identities in Literacy Narratives.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 47.4 (Dec., 2003 – Jan., 2004):.342-345.

Williams, Joseph M. “The Phenomenology of Error.” College Composition and Communication 32 (1981): 152-68.

Woods, Peggy M. “Moving beyond ‘This is good’ in Peer Response.” Practice in Context. Eds, Cindy Moore and Peggy O’Neill. NCTE, 2002. 187-195. 

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Writing in the 21st Century.” NCTE Report. 

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key.” College Composition and Communication 56.2 (2004): 297-328.

Zamel, Vivian. “Strangers in Academia:The Experiences of Faculty and ESL Students Across the Curriculum” College Composition and Communication 46.4 (1995): 506-21.


Additional Composition Studies References

Bazerman, Charles. “Writing to Learn” Reference Guide to Writing Across the Curriculum: 57-65