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ERIC Number: ED222908
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Literature in the Composition Class: The Case Against.
Lide, Barbara; Lide, Francis
The "expressivists" in composition philosophy have seized upon reader-response criticism for its potential in the literature-based composition class. The literature-based course in composition falls into three main models: (1) a literary approach in which the focus is on literature with compositions to be written on the side; (2) a themes approach in which works to be read are chosen not according to concepts of literary history or criticism but because they embody, thematically, problems and dilemmas that students are thought to be able to respond to and write about; and (3) the reader-response or subjective-criticism approach in which students are encouraged to write about their personal, subjective, emotional responses to works of literature and to include in these responses accounts of analogous personal experiences. However, while a significant fraction of the composition sequence should be on responses to texts, the works of imaginative literature are not the most suitable texts for teaching writing because students must read one form of discourse and write in another. Instead, the course should accurately represent modern prose. To the extent that literary readings are not prose and not modern, they do not fit the bill. Nevertheless, passages from literary discourse are sometimes used for formal exercises in imitation. Another objection is that the secondary goal of literary instruction often overwhelms the primary goal of writing instruction. Furthermore, writing about literary texts is referentially atypical. This makes the literature-based course poor preparation for academic and public discourse, and it makes for inefficient internalization of the language of readings. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A