This assignment will move you toward the following course outcome

  • Illustrate a key concept, term, theory, or theorist
  • Analyze the shifts over time

The goal of this assignment is to give you a broad understanding of a particular part of the academic history of composition theory. This is a typical sort of assignment for a course like this because it involves you taking a deep dive into the existing scholarship, which many believe helps people new to the field start to gain an understanding of it.

While there is truth in this approach, I want to make sure that you understand the current conversations (that is, what is being said about something in published scholarship) and what has been said about it (or not) historically.

What you will do

To that end, your “illustration” can take many forms, but it must include the following:


  • Pick a concept, term, theory, theorist
  • Pick your years from the three eras
    • encompass a set period of at least 4 current years (defined from 2010 to current)
    • incorporate an historical view from 4 years in the 1990’s and 4 years from 2000-2009


Then, you’ll hit the library databases (please for the love of all that you may hold holy, do not use freaking google scholar). Do some reading and skimming of journal abstracts and books.


Summarize the main themes of what was published around your concept, term, theory, or theorist. This can be however long you need it to be. Once you think you have the main themes or trends identified and summarized, you need to move the critical thinking (analysis) part and start to posit what you’ve learned, what questions you have, what arguments you may make (see create/design assignment), what’s missing (see construct assignment). In other words, give some thought to what the illustration through time tells you, tells us, about “composition theory.”


  • Paper thingy
    Your summary and analysis that is likely to be a word document that is for me as your audience.
  • Illustration

You will then narrow down what you feel are the most important and salient points of your research into some form of visualization that is short and to the point. These will be publicly shared

Please name these documents starting with your last name, e.g., meloncon_illustrate_graphic or meloncon_illustrate_paper

Due Date

7 October 2020 by at least an hour or so before class so I can have a chance to look at some them.

Send as an email attachments to


upload your illustration to the google drive folder Illustrations.



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