Forum Theme 1
The United States is one of the few places where a freshman-level composition course is a requirement for most students (Horner 1990). As a required course, however, it is also a source of contention, not only because of its cost to teach, but also because of its lack of perceived benefits. Complaints about the writing abilities of college students persist anecdotally among faculty, administrators and sometimes in the popular press and are often cast in terms of crises (e.g., Shiels 1975). As histories of college writing studies show, however, such perceived crises are often linked to larger, social changes about the production and regulation of meaning (Schroeder 2001), such as the expansion of higher education to new populations (Douglas 1975, Berlin 1984, Berlin 1987, Miller 1997), or technological changes that affect literacy practices (Eisenstein 1979, Miller and Shepherd 2004). However, as other researchers have noted, fears attendant to discourses of crisis often prompt calls for more rigorous standards and accountability which can paradoxically limit the opportunities for students to write well (Rose 1985).
©2010 David M. Grant
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Grant, David M.
"Back to the Future? Writing Instruction in the 21st Century Liberal Arts,"
UNIversitas: Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Vol. 6:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/universitas/vol6/iss2/2