My latest book,
Upsetting Composition Commonplaces
, was published this month by
Utah State University Press
. In the book, I try to “upset” some common misconceptions about student writing and about the teaching of college composition. For instance, I take on the cliche that effective student writing should be “clear”–not only is “clarity” rather meaningless (nearly everyone insists on it, but few can define it), but the insistence on it also masks other agendas (e.g., attacks on postmodern theory). Additional chapters in the book tackle commonplaces around objectivity, intent, audience, and, that most-romanticized aspect of student writing, “voice.”
My research methodology included composition faculty surveys, analysis of college composition textbooks, analysis of sample student work, and juxtaposing the insights of poststructuralist theory against the composition commonplaces that these insights discredit.
Ian Barnard, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition, Department of English