The genre of disciplines: Explorations in disciplinary writing and rhetoric and composition
KeywordsLanguage, Rhetoric and Composition.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation is a combination of three loosely connected projects: First it discusses the disciplinary history of genre traced back to literary, linguistic and rhetorical studies to argue that this diverse body of knowledge contains valuable elements of articulating knowledge about writing. This portion of the dissertation postulates that genre is both a metaphorical and a rhetorical concept, which implies that all genre concepts whether they are defined as classifications, strategies, or descriptions can only partially grasp the nature of discourse. Nevertheless, all genre concepts provide useful guidance for writers and readers about texts in so far as they are applied for a valuable purpose to highlight and articulate the rhetorical, linguistic, or discursive features of texts. Second, two chapters discuss the relationship between genres and disciplinary knowledge, arguing that this diffuse and wayward connection provides valuable insight into the nature of writing and knowledge making, and that genre is a concept that can help writers better grasp the nature of relevant discourse in their disciplinary areas. Finally, the dissertation illustrates the potential of genre analysis as a combination of linguistic, literary, and rhetorical analysis to highlight the discursive and epistemological preferences of disciplinary texts by analyzing two significant articles from the field of rhetoric and composition. The pedagogical implications of these explorations are stated in the first and last chapters of this work implying that the complex analysis of texts as socially embedded patterns of knowledge making can be an important component of writing instruction both on elementary and on advanced levels, and need not be seen as an outmoded alternative or a purely theoretical supplement to the currently dominant process model of composition pedagogy.
Degree ProgramGraduate College