Revolution Lullabye

February 16, 2008

Irmscher “Finding a Comfortable Identity.”

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Irmscher, William. “Finding a Comfortable Identity.” CCC 38.1 (Feb 1987): 81-87. 

Irmscher argues that the reason composition as a field is undermined in the academy is because composition does not have research methods that accommodate the particular needs of research-teachers who are investigating the complex writing process. The empirical research methods used in the 1970s and early 1980s “complicated the familiar and obfuscated the obvious” by microanalyzing the composing process. Composition should borrow the insights of other disciplines, but it needs to create its own humanistic, dramatistic model of inquiry that takes into account the specific needs and values of the field. In his conclusion, Irmscher lists the criteria he believes should be at the forefront of scholarly inquiry in composition.

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