From rhetoric to rhetorics: An interim report on the history of American writing instruction to 1900

Suzanne Bordelon, Elizabethada A. Wright, S. Michael Halloran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Short History of Writing Instruction
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Ancient Greece to Contemporary America
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780203134368
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Belletristic rhetoric: Blair
  • Catholic women’s schools
  • Complicating previous narratives
  • Conservative oral vernacular curriculum
  • Current-traditional rhetoric
  • Education for African Americans
  • Emerging status of rhetoric as composition
  • Growth in availability of textbooks
  • Individualized
  • Industrial Revolution and improved technologies for writing
  • Infl uence of oratorical training at non-elite schools
  • Jamieson
  • Larger numbers of university students
  • Leadership in the public sphere
  • Literacy societies
  • Lyceum debates
  • Native Americans “educated to extinction”
  • New importance of “correct” English
  • Newman
  • Normal schools
  • Orations and debates in literary societies
  • Rhetoric and “compositions”
  • Rhetorical propriety
  • Rise of the middle class
  • Schools for diverse students
  • Sorting of students
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Women as teachers and public persuaders
  • Writing as bypasser of oratory forbidden to women
  • Writing assignments
  • Writing exercises at Princeton and Harvard
  • “Taste” as new aesthetic criterion

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