Composition: History & Theory: 1900 - 1919
English and Composition Studies
In Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900-1985 (1987), James Berlin discusses a major shift in the way that the field was viewed. While composition was still considered an opportunity for students to simply cultivate good language habits, it was cemented as a discipline by the formation of the MLA in 1883 and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 1911. He argues that the founding of these two organizations were the most important developments in making English Studies a secure component of the college curricula with a professional emphasis on students and learning that had previously been the focus of high school teachers and administrators. It is clear that Berlin is concerned with how these organizations encouraged the development of journals like English Journal for scholarly work in rhetoric and composition and how NCTE journal articles and organizational reports “recorded and encouraged” dominant competing rhetorical theories at the time (32).
Date of Upload