ERIC Number: ED332213
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-23
Reference Count: N/A
Alexander Bain's CUE in the Post-Modern World: Unity Revisited.
In 1866, Alexander Bain proposed that by evaluating unity, coherence, and emphasis (which he brought together under the acronym "CUE"), students could judge the effectiveness of their written paragraphs. One hundred twenty-five years later, the proposition is still central to composition instruction. A review of modern writing textbooks reveals that unity is the most entrenched of the CUE concepts, followed by coherence and emphasis respectively. Some books even try to unite the CUE principles with non-traditional methods of writing. Implicit, if not explicit, concern for CUE is found in every writing textbook. The bottom line of writing instruction seems to be recognizing and fostering two sharply different forms of discourse: unity, coherence, and emphasis on the one hand, and appreciation for creative disunity, incoherence, and a complete lack of emphasis on the other. Alternatives are available to instructors: they can encourage more creative writing in freshman composition courses; they can assign creative take-home tests in place of expository in-class exams; and they can point out differences between the two types of discourse. In any case, the processes of arriving at the unified, coherent, and emphasized written product is infinitely more important than whether the time-honored CUE formula was used in achieving the result. (Thirty-seven references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Alexander Bain; Composition Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).