Open Journal Systems

Bad Ideas About Writing

Inspired by the provocative science- and social-science-focused book, This Idea Must Die, the proposed collection intends to provide teachers, parents, and administrators with short, provocative, and thoroughly researched answers to the age-old question of Why Johnny Can’t Write. But rather than being a book of scapegoated ideas and strawman arguments, the authors of these essays -- as scholars of rhetoric and composition -- will discuss, in readable relatively jargon-free ways, why the centuries of writing instruction that undergird the “public”’s understanding of what is expected from writing instruction and how it should be taught is mostly WRONG, or at least misunderstood. The collection will provide a snapshot of major myths about writing instruction in the form of "opinionated encylopedia articles." We envision the collection as an agon of opinionated statements about writing instruction that will spark debate and rethinking of pieties and myths.

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