Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Freshman Comp, Then and Now


At one time, freshman composition actually taught students something valuable. On the Pope Center site today, R. V. Young, professor of English at North Carolina State University (and editor of Modern Age), describes the goals, the rigor, and the successes of this “academic boot camp.” But then, he writes, “Composition” became a new research field requiring theorization and publication, requiring numerous and mutable theories, since everyone in higher education is now expected to have an “ongoing research project.”

He outlines some of the  “discoveries” of these theorists, which have turned freshman comp into a wasteland.


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