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Key words

I’ve established this page as a place where we can keep track of some of the important terms and concepts we’ll encounter over the semester. One of the important features of this course is that it will help you develop a vocabulary for talking and writing about writing. Pay attention to where and how these words show up in our readings and discussions — and think about what associations come to mind when you hear or read them.

Keep in mind that one of the best ways to get comfortable with these words is to try using them when appropriate in class discussions or writing assignments.

In addition to the terms below from Rewriting, I would recommend the following readings from earlier in the semester as important sources of key terms and concepts:

  • Gerald Graff, “Hidden Intellectualism”
  • Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid”
  • David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen, “Making a Thesis Evolve”
  • Keith Grant-Davie, “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents”


Useful Terms from Rewriting:

One of the richest sources of writing terminology for us will be Joseph Harris’s Rewriting: How to Do Things With Texts. We’ll read Harris’ text in sections over the semester, but for now I’ll list some key words and phrases below in alphabetical order along with page references so you can easily check to see how Harris defines the terms.

Arguing  the Other Side, 58-60

Authorizing, 44

Borrowing, 44-46

Countering, 54-58

Dissenting, 64-67

Extending, 46-48

Forwarding, 34-39

Illustrating, 39-44

Intertextuality, 1-2

Metatext, 90-91

Move, 3-5

Positive Opposing Terms, 25

Project, 16-19

Uncovering Values, 60-64

Uses and Limits, 24-27

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