Developmental Writing Theory

David Bartholomae: “The Tidy House: Basic Writing in the American Curriculum” (JBW 1993)

Susan Naomi Bernstein: “Basic Writing: In Search of a New Map” (Modern Language Studies 2011) (JSTOR paywall)

M. Kate Callahan and Donalda Chumney: “‘Write Like College’: How Remedial Writing Courses at a Community College and a Research University Position ‘At-Risk’ Students in the Field of Higher Education” (Teachers College Record 2009)

Nelson Flores: “Beyond Charity: Partial Narratives as a Metaphor for Basic Writing” (JBW 2010)

Min-Zhan Lu: “Conflict and Struggle: The Enemies or Preconditions of Basic Writing?” (College English 1992) (JSTOR paywall)

Mike Rose: “The Language of Exclusion: Writing Instruction at the University” (College English 1985)

Mina Shaughnessy: “Diving In: An Introduction to Basic Writing” (1976)

Pamela VanHaitsma: “More Talk about ‘Basic Writers’: A Category of Rhetorical Value for Teachers” (JBW 2010)

The Contact Zone

Mary Louise Pratt: The Art of the Contact Zone

Richard Miller’s Response: Fault Lines in the Contact Zone (College English 1994)

Joseph Harris’ Response: Negotiating the Contact Zone (JBW 1995)

Code Shifting

David Bartholomae: “Inventing the University” (JBW 1986)

Lisa Delpit: “Language Diversity and Learning” (chapter from Other People’s Children)

Valerie Kinloch: “Revisiting the Promise of Students’ Right to Their Own Language: Pedagogical Strategies” (CCC 2005)

Barbara Mellix: “From Outside In”

Reading/Writing Connection

Sugie Goen and Helen Gillotte-Tropp: “Integrating Reading and Writing: A Response to the Basic Writing ‘Crisis’” (JBW 2003).

Acceleration and Redesign

Complete College America: Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere

Katie Hern: “Acceleration Across California: Shorter Pathways in Developmental English and Math” (Change 2012)

Mike Rose: “Remediation at a Crossroads” (Inside Higher Ed 2011)

TYCA Executive Committee: “TYCA White Paper on Developmental Education Reforms” (TETYC 2015)



Two Year College English Association

Teaching English in the Two Year College (need to be NCTE member to access issues)

Journal of Basic Writing Archives (1975-2003)

ERIC (JBW archives since 2003)


Everyone Can Write: Essays Toward a Hopeful Theory of Writing and Teaching Writing. Peter Elbow. 2012.

The Reading-Writing Connection. Nancy Nelson and Robert C. Calfee. 1998.

Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education. Mike Rose. 2012.


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On Language

“Sign Language that African Americans Use is Different from that of Whites.”This Washington Post article looks at racial differences in ASL.

“5 Insane Ways Words Can Control Your Mind“ (Warning: This is from the humor website which contains some profanity.) This article looks at the way that language usage impacts perceptions of the world around us.

“Lost in Translation“ This Wall Street Journal article looks at the way that language shapes cultural norms and perceptions.

“Do You Speak American?“ This PBS site is multi-faceted and explores dialects and questions language power dynamics.


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“Is a Writing Sample Necessary for ‘Accurate Placement’?” by Patrick Sullivan and David Nielsen. Journal of Developmental Education 33.2 (2009)

“Learning to Ride the Wave: Making Decisions about Placement Testing” by Susanmarie Harrington. WPA 28.3 (2005)

“The Importance of Placement and Basic Studies: Helping Students Succeed in the New Elitism” by Ed White JBW 14.2 (1995)

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