Contemporary Perspectives on Cognition and Writing

Edited by Patricia Portanova, J. Michael Rifenburg, and Duane Roen
Copy edited by Don Donahue. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

Note: This book is currently available in a pre-print format. Library of Congress cataloging information is not yet available and some page numbers might change following print publication.

CoverSince the 1980s, even as international writing scholars have embraced cognitive science, the number of studies building on research in writing and cognition has decreased in the United States. Despite this decline, significant interest and ongoing research in this critical area continues. Contemporary Perspectives on Cognition and Writing explores the historical context of cognitive studies, the importance to our field of studies in neuroscience, the applicability of habits of mind, and the role of cognition in literate development and transfer. These works—each of which offers a timely contribution to research, teaching, and learning in the composition classroom—are book-ended by a foreword and afterword by cognition and writing pioneers John Hayes and Linda Flower. This collection, as a result, offers a historical marker of where we were in cognitive studies and where we might go.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter

Foreword. Are Cognitive Studies in Writing Really Passé?, John R. Hayes

Introduction, Patricia Portanova, J. Michael Rifenburg, and Duane Roen

Section I: Historical Context

Chapter 1. The Psychology of Writing Situated within Social Action: An Empirical and Theoretical Program, Charles Bazerman

Chapter 2. The Evolving Relationship Between Composition and Cognitive Studies: Gaining Some Historical Perspective on our Contemporary Moment, Ellen C. Carillo

Chapter 3. Attending to Phenomenology: Rethinking Cognition and Reflection in North American Writing Studies, Dylan B. Dryer and David R. Russell

Section II: Reconsidering Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Chapter 4. Neuroscience of Reading: Developing Expertise in Reading and Writing, Alice S. Horning

Chapter 5. Language Attachment Theory: The Possibilities of Cross-Language Relationships, Bonnie Vidrine-Isbell

Chapter 6. Meaningful Practice: Adaptive Learning, Writing Instruction, and Writing Research, Gwen Gorzelsky, Carol Hayes, Joseph Paszek, Edmund Jones, and Dana Lynn Driscoll

Section III: Neuroscientific Discoveries and Applicability

Chapter 7. Neural Implications for Narrative in Multimodal Persuasive Messages, Dirk Remley

Chapter 8. Pedagogy and the Hermeneutic Dance: Mirroring, Plasticity, and the Situated Writing Subject, Jen Talbot

Chapter 9. Neuroplasticity, Genre, and Identity: Possibilities and Complications, Irene Clark

Section IV: Writing-Related Transfer and Implementing the Habits of Mind

Chapter 10. Teaching Metacognition to Reinforce Agency and Transfer in Course-Linked First-Year Courses, Dianna Winslow and Phil Shaw

Chapter 11. Metacognition and the Reflective Writing Practitioner: An Integrated Knowledge Approach, Kara Taczak and Liane Robertson

Chapter 12. Seeing is Believing: Re-presentation, Cognition, and Transfer in Writing Classes, Marcus Meade

Chapter 13. "Did You Ever Take that Test Yourself?" Failed Knowledge Transfer, Peer-to-Peer Pedagogies, and the Framework Habits of Mind as Two-Way Street, Steven J. Corbett with Jeremy Kunkel

Section V: Student Voices: Researching Self-Perceptions, Dispositions, and Prior Knowledge

Chapter 14. Researching Habits-of-Mind Self-Efficacy in First-Year College Writers, Peter H. Khost

Chapter 15. Defining Dispositions: Mapping Student Attitudes and Strategies in College Composition, E. Shelley Reid

Chapter 16. Mapping the Prior: A Beginning Typology and Its Impact on Writing, Kathleen Blake Yancey

Afterword. Reflection: What Can Cognitive Rhetoric Offer Us? Linda Flower


About the Editors

Patricia Portanova is Associate Professor of English at Northern Essex Community College, where she teaches writing and communication. She earned her Ph.D. in Composition Studies from the University of New Hampshire, where she served as editor of Transitions, a journal of undergraduate writing. She has served as chair of the Northeast Writing Across the Curriculum Consortium (NEWACC) and currently co-chairs the Cognition and Writing Special Interest Group at CCCC. Her research focuses on cognition and writing, civic inquiry, and public rhetoric.

J. Michael Rifenburg is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Georgia, where he directs first-year writing and leads workshops on faculty writing through UNG's Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership. With Patricia, he co-chairs the Cognition and Writing Special Interest Group at CCCC. His book, The Embodied Playbook: Writing Practices of Student-Athletes, is forthcoming with University Press of Colorado.

Duane Roen is Professor of English at Arizona State University, where he serves as Dean of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Dean of University College, and Vice Provost. He has written widely about writing instruction, writing across the curriculum, writing program administration, and academics as public intellectuals. His current projects focus on applications of the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing and on family history writing.

Publication Information: Portanova, P., Rifenburg, J. M., & Roen, D. (2017). Contemporary Perspectives on Cognition and Writing. Perspectives on Writing. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado. Available at

Web Publication Date: October 30, 2017.
Print Publication Date: Pending.

Contact Information:
Patricia Portanova:
J. Michael
Duane Roen:

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editors: Susan H. McLeod, University of California, Santa Barbara; Rich Rice, Texas Tech University

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Copyright © 2017 Patricia Portanova, J. Michael Rifenburg, and Duane Roen. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 United States License. 370 pages, with notes, illustrations, and bibliographies. This book will be available, when print production is complete, from University Press of Colorado online as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in PDF and ePub format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another Web site.