This first full-length study of Weaver examines the relationship between his rhetorical theory and his cultural views, focusing on the rhetorical insights---for instance, his conception of language as sermonic, its function being to influence others to think and act according to the speaker's moral precepts and, ideally, to convey the abiding truth of a culture. Authors Duffy and Jacobi advance the idea that Weaver was at his best as an epideictic rhetor, engaged in the celebration of abstract values, and at his worst as a forensic rhetor, pleading conservative causes with no more than the pretense of impartiality. Based largely on primary materials but with adroit application of previous criticism, this work will be valuable for a wide range of research specialties in rhetoric and public address.
Knoblauch considers six "stories” about the meaning of meaning in an attempt to answer the question, what encourages us to believe that language acts are meaningful? Six distinctive ideologies of Western rhetoric emerge: magical rhetoric, ontological rhetoric, objectivist rhetoric, expressivist rhetoric, sociological rhetoric, and deconstructive rhetoric. He explores the nature of language and the important role these rhetorics play in the discourses that matter most to people, such as religion, education, public policy, science, law, and history.
The contributors analyze the development of the writing assessment and instruction program at Washington State University, which is nationally recognized for its success. In doing so, they provide guidance to other institutions planning to develop similar integrated programs. The volume argues that writing assessment and instruction should inform and influence each other; that they should evolve together; and that they should be developed locally. By tracing the success of the WSU program, the authors directly challenge the use of national packaged assessment programs, such as standardized placement tests.
The volume's opening section presents writing research agendas from different regions and research groups. The next section addresses the national, political, and historical contexts that shape educational institutions and the writing initiatives developed there. The following sections represent a wide range of research approaches for investigating writing processes and practices in primary, secondary, and higher education. The volume ends with theoretical and methodological reflections.
This exemplary collection, like the conference that it grew out of, will bring new perspectives to the rich dialogue of contemporary research on writing and advance understanding of this complex and important human activity.