Subjects: Education, Language And Literature (0279)
ProQuest Document Number: 303438442
UMI Number: AAT 8709783
The research is motivated by two problems: the inadequate attention that most composition textbooks give to beginning writing and the neglect of stasis, the initial stage of classical rhetoric, in contemporary theories of invention. These two problems, combined with a view of rhetoric as an art, generate the research question: what are the features that should be contained in a heuristic for the beginning of discourse?
To discover the features of the genesis of written discourse, I explore three areas that illuminate this aspect of writing: classical rhetoric, particularly the concepts of kairos and stasis; modern problem solving; and contemporary rhetoric and composition. These areas yield a surprisingly similar set of characteristics, which form the features of genesis: (1) its twofold nature: finding and representing a dissonance, (2) its grounding in dissonance, (3) its compulsion to reduce dissonance through action, (4) its employment of a representation as a guide in the eventual search for a solution, (5) its use of questioning as a means of gathering data about a dissonance, and (6) its demand for awareness of situation. These features may be instantiated in heuristics for beginning writing.