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Composition Forum 19, Spring 2009

From the Editors

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Christian Weisser and Michelle Ballif

It seems as if we have new changes to announce with each volume, and Volume 19 of Composition Forum is no different. I am especially thrilled to welcome Mary Jo Reiff as one of our Program Profile Editors. Mary Jo will join Anis Bawarshi in this position, and the two of them have exciting plans for the future of our Program Profile section. This volume’s Program Profile, ”A Collaborative Approach to Information Literacy,“ offers an analysis of a team-teaching approach at West Virginia University that brought together writing faculty, tutors, and librarians as integral components of student research. Please see our submissions page for further information and submission guidelines for this and other sections.

We have three thought-provoking articles for this volume. Our feature article addresses the opportunities and obstacles of assigning politicized topics in composition classrooms—a particularly relevant subject as President Obama takes office. Dan Fraizer’s “Writing About War” emphasizes the value of politicized writing as a form of social action for students. Caleb Corkery’s “Who Taught You Like That?” analyzes the communicative role models of freshmen composition students at a historically black college. Corkery suggests that these role models are often indicators for how well such students adjust to college writing, and that attention to these role models can reveal opportunities for writing instructors. Nate Kreuter’s “Style, Student Writing, and the Handbooks” examines the disappearance of style from writing handbooks and, consequently, from writing classrooms. Kreuter’s essay argues for a disciplinary re-commitment to the study and teaching of style, one of the original canons of classical rhetoric.

This volume also features three book reviews, including a review essay written by Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder that discusses three current books focusing on plagiarism. We plan to offer diverse book reviews in the future, and we encourage reviews of important textbooks, websites, and other texts. Review queries should be sent to Derek Owens.

Thanks to the efforts of Bradley Dilger, our Website Editor, we now offer an abstract for each published article. Our abstracts provide an overview of the article and are designed to make the content of Composition Forum more accessible to our readers. We are in the process of creating abstracts for previously published articles as well, and we will have more news about these efforts on our weblog and in our next issue. As we update past volumes, we are using to build an index of all articles which enables readers to quickly move between articles tagged with similar keywords. We plan to integrate this index with similar efforts undertaken by other journals, and we are adding other features which will make work published in the journal easier to find. Bradley welcomes your feedback about this new feature or any other aspect of the Composition Forum website.

We hope you will visit this site often to view our progress. As we mentioned in our last volume, we’ve started using a weblog to disseminate news about the journal more quickly, and we would love to hear from you. Send general comments or suggestions about Composition Forum to Christian Weisser at Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to both Christian Weisser and Michelle Ballif.

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