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ERIC Number: EJ1003969
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
Material Affordances: The Potential of Scrapbooks in the Composition Classroom
Alexander, Kara Poe
Composition Forum, v27 Spr 2013
A multiliteracies pedagogy has renewed our interest in materiality, or how the physical text interacts with the author's choices and the context to contribute to the message, yet little attention has been paid to materiality in analog texts, such as the scrapbook, even though this medium contains affordances (capabilities and limitations) that encourage active engagement with the materiality of composition. This essay demonstrates the pedagogical value of the scrapbook for how it encourages student composers to select, appropriate, and redesign external cover materials to communicate the message inside the book and how it emphasizes the haptic sense (touch). In short, the scrapbook assignment is pedagogically important because it teaches students the concept of affordances and demonstrates to them how materiality impacts design, composition, and rhetorical choices; it also provides a low-tech, low-stakes entry into multimodal composing and reflexivity on the rhetorical decision-making process. (Contains 7 figures and 7 notes.)
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A