Author Biographies

Elizabeth Brockman is an English professor at CMU, where she teaches composition and composition methods courses. She is co-director of the Chippewa River Writing Project and column editor for Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture.


Using a wide-angle lens spanning three decades, the author proposes that a 1991 OJELA article has “staying power” in the field. Its original purpose—to celebrate the highly recursive revision and personal voice of Emily, a high school junior—is still relevant today, nearly thirty years after the fact. In other words, Emily (who must be nearly 50!) can still vividly model revision strategies and habits of mind with the power to enlarge our own students’ writerly horizons, bolster their rhetorical confidence, and accelerate their literacy growth. However, English teachers today can do more than value the original purpose; they can broaden and extend that purpose in new and remarkable directions, particularly in light of an important English Education development: an emerging interest in nuanced thesis statements and arguments.

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