A contextualist research paradigm for rhetoric and composition

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dc.contributor.advisor Ranieri, Paul W. en_US
dc.contributor.author Johanek, Cynthia L. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T19:27:18Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T19:27:18Z
dc.date.created 1998 en_US
dc.date.issued 1998
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1998 .J64 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/177075
dc.description.abstract The unresolved nineteenth-century debate--"is rhetoric an art or a science?"--hashindered our attempt to establish an inclusive research paradigm for rhetoric and composition. The newly dominant paradigm is quickly narrowing to prefer the qualitative designs that suit our literary ideals, relieve our math and statistics anxiety, and fulfill political ideologies. Such qualitative work has given us great insight into the mind of the researcher, a stronger voice to the individual, and a powerful tool for groups traditionally oppressed by our field.At the same time, however, our field needs quantitative research that examines the scope of certain issues or that tests the effectiveness of solutions to problems, and we should remain prepared to understand such research from other fields. But the quantitative/qualitative division in composition cannot be healed through "methodological pluralism" or by examining the epistemologies governing those methodological choices.A Contextualist Theory of Epistemic Justification (Annis, 1978) provides a new lens through which we may recontextualize the competing epistemologies our field has outlined, providing a new decision-making framework through which we may appreciate the intersection of research issues (issue/question, purpose, method, and publication) and rhetorical issues (writer, audience, and subject) that form the varied contexts for our work: contexts highlighted in a matrix of questions representing a Contextualist Research Paradigm for Rhetoric and Composition.To illustrate such a paradigm, Eileen Oliver's (1995) "The Writing Quality of Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Graders, and College Freshmen: Does Rhetorical Specification in Writing Prompts Make a Difference?" is reprinted with an interview with Oliver, in which she detailed the context for her study. To further demonstrate a Contextualist Paradigm at work, my own study--"Red Ink / Blue Ink: Does it Really Make a Difference?"--responds to the largely untested anecdotal evidence that discourages writing teachers' use of red pens.A Contextualist Research Paradigm is necessary for composition to heal the artificial divisions between qualitative and quantitative research, to direct our attention fully to context rather than politics, form, and numbers, and to conduct not only the research we like, but also the research we and our students need. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of English
dc.format.extent viii, 229 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Composition (Language arts) -- Research. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh English language -- Composition and exercises. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Rhetoric -- Philosophy. en_US
dc.title A contextualist research paradigm for rhetoric and composition en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/1115713 en_US


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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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