The following links will take you to online encyclopedias and reference manuals to help you get started on your research. Here you can find general background information, definitions, and history on many literary terms and concepts specific to composition studies.
This authoritative survey of English usage, grammar, and style offers guidance on almost any writing problem imaginable
The library also has a number of print encyclopedias that can be found in the Reference section on the second floor of the library. Reference books cannot be checked out of the library but there are scanners available on the second floor that can be used to scan information from these texts into a PDF which you can email to yourself.
This classic reference surveys the field, covering rhetoric's principles, concepts, applications, practical tools, and major thinkers. Rhetoric is increasingly studied in the context of other disciplines, such as anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy, because its well-established rules and time-honored methods are useful for developing modern communications and writing skills.
Use databases to find academic articles to continue your research. Below are the most helpful databases for finding relevant articles for literature and literary topics. The MLA International Bibliography is the most popular, as it indexes most published works in literature. Make sure to click the "full text" option when searching if you are looking for the full article PDF.
Full-text of nearly 400 scholarly journals in humanities, social sciences, and mathematics. 1995 to present.
Good Starting Journals for Composition Studies
The following are links to specific academic journals which are published and peer-reviewed by experts in the field. If you want to narrow your search to a specific time period or genre, finding a journal that publishes in that area can help.
College Composition and Communication publishes research and scholarship in rhetoric and composition studies that supports college teachers in reflecting on and improving their practices in teaching writing and that reflects the most current scholarship and theory in the field
College English is the professional journal for the college scholar-teacher. CE publishes articles about literature, rhetoric-composition, critical theory, creative writing theory and pedagogy, linguistics, literacy, reading theory, pedagogy, and professional issues related to the teaching of English.
The journal features articles that explore the intersections of composition theory and pedagogy, including essays that examine specific pedagogical theories or that examine how theory could or should inform classroom practices, methodology, and research into multiple literacies.
Research in the Teaching of English (RTE) is a multidisciplinary journal composed of original research and scholarly essays on the relationships between language teaching and learning at all levels, preschool through adult.
Written Communication has a broad and interdisciplinary view of what writing is, how writing gets done, and what writing does in the world. Written Communication's aims and scope encompass a wide range of topics, and its pages consistently provide readers with new research findings, new theoretical concepts, and new ways of understanding how writing is practiced in schools, workplaces, and communities.
Reflecting the rich complexity of contemporary college composition pedagogy, A Guide to Composition Pedagogies presents original essays on the most important approaches to teaching writing. Each essay is written by an experienced teacher/scholar and describes one of the major pedagogies employed today to familiarize newcomers with the topography of Composition Studies. An invaluable tool for graduate students and new teachers, this bibliographic resource provides an exceptional introduction to Composition Studies and the extensive range of available pedagogical approaches. Now in its second edition, this guide substantially updates all chapters from the previous edition--on basic, collaborative, community-engaged, critical, expressive, feminist, process, Writing Across the Curriculum, and writing center pedagogies.
Our everyday lives are increasingly being lived through electronic media, which are changing our interactions and our communications in ways that we are only beginning to understand. In Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media, editors Deborah Tannen and Anna Marie Trester team up with top scholars in the field to shed light on the ways language is being used in, and shaped by, these new media contexts.
In Assignments across the Curriculum, Dan Melzer analyzes the rhetorical features and genres of writing assignments through the writing-to-learn and writing-in-the-disciplines perspectives. Presenting the results of his study of 2,101 writing assignments from undergraduate courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, business, and humanities in 100 postsecondary institutions in the United States, Assignments across the Curriculum is unique in its cross-institutional breadth and its focus on writing assignments. The results provide a panoramic view of college writing in the United States. Melzer's framework begins with the rhetorical situations of the assignments--the purposes and audiences--and broadens to include the assignments' genres and discourse community contexts.
Naming What We Know examines the core principles of knowledge in the discipline of writing studies using the lens of threshold concept--concepts that are critical for epistemological participation in a discipline.