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Connors, Robert J., and Andrea A. Lunsford. "Frequency of Formal Errors in Current College Writing, or Ma and Pa Kettle Do Research." CCC 39.4 (1988): 395-409.


The authors, who had studied the history of marking and classifying student writing errors, conducted a study of 3,000 teacher-marked papers of American college freshmen and sophomores to analyze and determine the most common patterns of student writing errors made in the 1980s and which formal and mechanical errors were marked most consistently by American teachers. After generating their own taxonomy of the twenty most common student errors, the authors used fifty raters to analyze the student papers. Their results included finding that college English teachers do not always agree on what is a serious writing error, that teachers mark only 43% of the most serious errors in the papers they grade, and that teachers are less likely to mark an error that requires extensive explanation. This study also debunks claims of educational decline, since the authors, comparing their findings to the results of past studies of student writing errors, found that students in the 1980s make approximately the same number of errors as students earlier in the century.

Sklar, Elizabeth S. "The Tribunal of Use: Agreement in Indefinite Constructions." CCC 39.4 (1988): 410-422.


This article argues for the reversal of the grammatical rule that mandates singular agreement with indefinite pronouns by looking at the historical construction of the rule, its treatment in a variety of modern handbooks, and its current practical use. The author's objective is to ease teachers' instructional burden by adjusting practice to linguistic reality and to suggest the possibility of similarly challenging other rules of traditional grammar whose official sanction may be pragmatically or linguistically unwarranted.

Flynn, Elizabeth A. "Composing as a Woman." CCC 39.4 (1988): 423-435.


The author, noting that feminist inquiry and composition have much in common but have yet to fully engage with other, calls for a feminist approach to composition studies, which would focus on questions of difference and dominance in written language. The article surveys recent feminist research on gender differences in social and psychological development and uses this research to illuminate a case study of four student narratives, two written by women and two by men. The author argues that these student texts suggest that men and women use language in different ways and argues that ignoring the innate differences between men and women can silence female students, as she claims that the field's models of the composing process are better suited for men.

Fulkerson, Richard. "Technical Logic, Comp-Logic, and the Teaching of Writing." CCC 39.4 (1988): 436-452.


This article argues that the impetus to teach technical logic in composition is misguided and mishandled in composition textbooks and suggests a better way to teach students how to create effective arguments would be to instruct them in modern informal logic or classical stasis theory. The article shows how composition's treatment of logic, including instruction in induction, deduction, and fallacy theory, is incomplete and vague. The author goes on to critique the Toulmin model as the solution to teaching students how to structure an argument, but does point out that the model is useful as an invention heuristic. In his conclusion, the author endorses statis theory as a clear, systematic approach to teaching students how to write arguments.

Kaufer, David S., and Erwin R. Steinberg. "Economies of Expression: Some Hypotheses." CCC 39.4 (1988): 453-457.

Stein, Mark J. "Cost It out." CCC 39.4 (1988): 458-461.

Snyder, Lolly Ockerstrom. "Telephones and Roommates: Teaching Students What They Know about Writing." CCC 39.4 (1988): 461-463.

McAlexander, Patricia J. "Advantages of the Cumulative Comment Sheet in Composition Classes." CCC 39.4 (1988): 463-464.

Myers, Greg. Rev. of Writing about Writing about Scientific Writing: Books on the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. Knowledge and Reflexivity: New Frontiers in the Sociology of Knowledge by Steve Woolgar; Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behavior by Jonathan Potter and Margaret Wetherell; Science: The Very Idea by Steve Woolgar; Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society by Bruno Latour. CCC 39.4 (1988): 465-474

Williams, Joseph M. Rev. of Toward a Grammar of Passages by Richard M. Coe. CCC 39.4 (1988): 474-478.

Greenberg, Karen L. Rev. of Assessing Writing Skill by Hunter M. Breland, Roberta Camp, Robert J. Jones, Margaret M. Morris, and Donald A. Rock. CCC 39.4 (1988): 478-480.

Hilbert, Betsy. Rev. of Embracing Contraries: Explorations in Learning and Teaching by Peter Elbow. CCC 39.4 (1988): 480-481.

Wilson, Velez H. Rev. of Talking into Writing: Exercises for Basic Writers by Donald L. Rubin and William M. Dodd. CCC 39.4 (1988): 481-482.

Ginn, Doris O. Rev. of Language Diversity and Writing Instruction by Marcia Farr and Harvey Daniels. CCC 39.4 (1988): 482-484.

Lindholdt, Paul J. Rev. of Technical Writing: A Reader-Centered Approach by Paul V. Anderson. CCC 39.4 (1988): 484-485.

Haring-Smith, Tori. Rev. of The Heath Writing across the Curriculum Series Writer's Guide: Life Sciences by Arthur W. Biddle and Daniel L. Bean; Writer's Guide: Political Science by Arthur W. Biddle and Kenneth M. Holland; Writer's Guide: Psychology by Lynne A. Bond and Anthony S. Magistrale; Writer's Guide: History by Henry J. Steffens and Mary Jane Dickerson. CCC 39.4 (1988): 485-487.