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The Dissertation & the Discipline

Reinventing Composition Studies

By Nancy Welch, Kate Latterell, Cindy Moore, Shelia Carter-Tod

    “To examine how reading and writing are carried out in school, we need to pay attention to the schooling of the dissertation.”
    —from the Introduction

Writing a dissertation can be joyful and reaffirming, but it can also feel like wandering into a labyrinth where dimly lit pathways twist and turn toward disaster. What is a dissertation supposed to look like? What is a dissertation supposed to do? Who is supposed to—or allowed to—decide?

The Dissertation & the Discipline brings together both dissertation writers and advisors to grapple with these questions and formulate answers. Each chapter...

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    “To examine how reading and writing are carried out in school, we need to pay attention to the schooling of the dissertation.”
    —from the Introduction

Writing a dissertation can be joyful and reaffirming, but it can also feel like wandering into a labyrinth where dimly lit pathways twist and turn toward disaster. What is a dissertation supposed to look like? What is a dissertation supposed to do? Who is supposed to—or allowed to—decide?

The Dissertation & the Discipline brings together both dissertation writers and advisors to grapple with these questions and formulate answers. Each chapter highlights the intersection of power and politics in this high-stakes rhetorical scene while exploring and describing a range of productive strategies. Critiquing standard narratives and traditional assumptions, The Dissertation & the Discipline offers a radical critique of dissertation writing and advising—and challenges us to consider how these practices can be deployed to expand our understanding of the very nature of Composition Studies.

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