“Rituals and Gestures”: Identity and Discovery in the Writing Classroom
Composition scholar David Bartholomae’s influential article “Inventing the University” explicates his perspectives on how basic writers “write their way into the university,” and how they don’t (12). Bartholomae begins by incorporating text from an introductory student essay that he intends to strike readers as challenging to read, or even upsetting. He counters this expectation by articulating the student’s clever use of what Kathleen Yancey terms “metacognition,” or the ability to recognize the “rituals and gestures” necessary for writing in this particular academic genre, considering audience, etc. (6).
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