A Writer Reforms (the Teaching of) Writing: Donald Murray and the Writing Process Movement, 1963–1987

By Michael J. Michaud
Copy edited by Don Donahue. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverIn this archival investigation, Michael J. Michaud examines the life and work of Donald M. Murray, an important disciplinary and educational reformer who has for too long been misunderstood, caricatured, and dismissed by many writing studies theorists and historians. Focusing on Murray’s work at the University of New Hampshire from the 1960s to the 1980s, Michaud offers a corrective intended to establish a new legacy for Murray. Grounded in an understanding of the significance of his personal backstory to his reform efforts and narrated through the lens of a close reading of the day-to-day details of his work during the heady years of the writing process movement, A Writer Reforms (the Teaching of) Writing recounts the numerous innovations Murray contributed to composition pedagogy and traces the impact of his work on the growth of the field during a critical period in its development.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter



Introduction. What We Talk About When We Talk About Donald Murray: From Expressivist to Reformer

Chapter 1. Roots of a Reformer

Chapter 2. Becoming a Writer Teaching Writing, 1963–1971

Chapter 3. Transforming a Local Writing Tradition, 1971–1977

Chapter 4. Joining the Writing Research Conversation, 1977–1987

Conclusion. A Reformer’s Legacy

Works Cited

About the Author

Michael J. Michaud is Professor of English at Rhode Island College, where he teaches undergraduate courses ranging from composition to workplace writing to multimodal writing and graduate courses ranging from theories of rhetoric and composition to professional writing. His scholarly interests include adult learners in higher education and their writerly journeys to a college degree, curricular innovation in professional and digital writing classes, writing across the curriculum, and the work and life of Donald M. Murray. His work has appeared in Composition Forum, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Intermezzo, among other forums.

Publication Information: Michaud, Michael J. (2023). A Writer Reforms (the Teaching of) Writing: Donald Murray and the Writing Process Movement, 1963–1987. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado. https://doi.org/10.37514/PER-B.2023.2043

Web Publication Date: August 22, 2023
Print Publication Date: March 2024

ISBN: 978-1-64215-204-3 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-205-0 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-573-0 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2043

Contact Information:
Michael J.Michaud: mmichaud@ric.edu

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editors: Rich Rice, Texas Tech University; Heather MacNeill Falconer, University of Maine; and J. Michael Rifenburg, University of North Georgia

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Copyright © 2023 Michael J. Michaud. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 146 pages, with notes and bibliographies. This book is also available in print from University Press of Colorado as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital 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 website.