Rewriting: How to do Things
with Texts
Joseph Harris
148 pages

ISBN 978-0-87421-642-4
paper $22.95

ISBN 978-0-87421-539-7
e-book $19.00

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Joseph Harris
JOSEPH HARRIS directs the independent and multidisciplinary Duke University Writing Program. At Duke, he also teaches courses in academic writing, critical reading, writing and social class, images of teaching in fiction and film, and writing pedagogies. His previous books are A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966 and Media Journal: Reading and Writing about Popular Culture. From 1994-99, Harris edited the journal College Composition and Communication. See his book Teaching with Student Texts released in 2010.


How to do Things with Texts

Joseph Harris

Also by Harris - A Teaching Subject and Teaching with Student Texts

Exam copies available.

"Like all writers, intellectuals need to say something new and say it well. But unlike many other writers, what intellectuals have to say is bound up with the books we are reading... and the ideas of the people we are talking with."

What are the moves that an academic writer makes? How does writing as an intellectual change the way we work from sources? In Rewriting, Joseph Harris draws the college writing student away from static ideas of thesis, support, and structure, and toward a more mature and dynamic understanding. Harris wants college writers to think of intellectual writing as an adaptive and social activity, and he offers them a clear set of strategies-a set of moves-for participating in it.

Praise for Rewriting:

"While the book is aimed at undergraduates, [it] reads like a thoughtful primer on doing scholarly writing and, even more importantly, on forming a professional identity as a publishing scholar. . . . Harris provides the 'terms of art,' as it were, for writers to achieve that self-awareness." —Howard Tinberg, CCC

"[O]ne of the reasons why I find the book so teachable and important is that it invites us to think more deeply than we might otherwise about what we want our writing to do and how we intend to make that happen."
—Laura Micciche, CCC

". . . a host to Burke's parlor, carefully introducing future academics to the rhetorical moves scholars make in relation to each other, thus warmly welcoming them into the conversation."
—Jacob Blumner, WAC Journal

". . . a significant contribution to the understanding and teaching of revision."
—Patricia Donahue, Reader, special issue on Rewriting

"Writing this essay in response to Rewriting has given me a better sense of the moves I, myself, make. . . . I can think of no higher praise." —Donna Qualley, Reader, special issue on Rewriting

In this wonderful little book, Joe Harris models the advice he gives. Rewriting is inviting, thoughtful, and packed with useful wisdom.
—Mike Rose, author of An Open Language

The book is a tour de force, a means of teaching and modeling the wise and effective use of sources. Beyond that, it's gracefully written, the textual examples offer wonderful variety, and the ethical center is humane, respectful, and warm.
—Carol Rutz, Carleton College

I like this book. It has a pulse. And it fills a gap between bulky readers/rhetorics and dutiful style handbooks.
—Tom Deans, University of CT

Harris models the working intellectual—not apologetic about his taste for books and thinking, happy to admit that these things are not so much glamorous or righteous as satisfying, hard, and do-able by anyone with an ambition to be interested and interesting.
—Eli Goldblatt, Temple University

Book Review College Composition and Communication Feb 2009 / Laura R. Micciche

Book Review College Composition and Communication June 2008 / Howard Tinberg

Book Review The Journal of Effective Teaching 2008 / Jennifer Pooler Courtney

Book Review Reader Fall 2007 / Patricia Donahue

Book Review The WAC Journal Sept 2007 / Jacob S. Blumner