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Rhetoric of Doing

Essays on Written Discourse in Honor of James L. Kinneavy

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Edited by Stephen P. Witte, Neil Nakadate, and Roger D. Cherry


7 x 10


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About the Book

Concerned with both the nature and the practice of discourse, the eighteen essays collected here treat rhetoric as a dynamic enterprise of inquiry, exploration, and application, and in doing so reflect James L. Kinneavy’s firm belief in the vital relationship between theory and practice, his commitment to a spirit of accommodation and assimilation that promotes the development of ever more powerful theories and ever more useful practices.

A thorough introduction provides the reader with clear summaries of the essays by leading-edge theorists, researchers, and teachers of writing and rhetoric. A "field context" for the ideas presented in this book is provided through the division of the various chapters into four major sections that focus on classical rhetoric and rhetorical theory in historical contexts; on dimensions of discourse theory, aspects of discourse communities, and the sorts of knowledge people access and use in producing written texts; on writing in school-related contexts; and on several dimensions of nonacademic writing. A fifth section contains a bibliographic survey and an appreciation of James Kinneavy’s work. The exceptional range of these essays makes A Rhetoric of Doing an ecumenical examination of the current state of mind in rhetoric and written communication, a survey and description of what discourse and those in the field of discourse are, in fact, doing.


Stephen P. Witte is a cofounder and coeditor of Written Communication and a coauthor of Evaluating College Writing Programs.

Neil Nakadate is a professor of English at Iowa State University and coauthor of Writing in the Liberal Arts Tradition: A Rhetoric with Readings.

Roger D. Cherry is an assistant professor of English at Ohio State University and coeditor of Written Communication and coauthor of Holistic Assessment of Writing: Issues in Theory and Practice.