Third Edition   ©2017

Writing about Writing

A College Reader

Elizabeth Wardle (Miami University) , Douglas Downs (Montana State University)

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-03276-1; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-03276-0; Format: Paper Text, 944 pages

Writing isn’t just something we do. It’s something we study.

A milestone in the field of composition, Writing about Writing continues to be the only textbook to provide an approach that makes writing studies the center of the introductory writing course. Based on Wardle and Downs’s research and organized around major threshold concepts of writing, this groundbreaking book empowers students in all majors by showing them how to draw on what they know and engage with ongoing conversations about writing and literacy. The accessible writing studies research in Writing about Writing includes foundational research by scholars such as Nancy Sommers and Donald Murray, popular commentary on writing by authors such as Malcolm X and Anne Lamott, and emerging research from both scholars and student writers. Accessible explanations, scaffolded activities, and thoughtful questions help students connect to the readings and transfer their writing-related skills from first-year composition to writing situations in other college courses, work, and their everyday lives.

The third edition makes studying writing even more accessible and teachable, with a new overview of rhetoric, a stronger focus on key threshold concepts, scaffolded reading guidance for challenging selections, and a new section in the instructor's manual with responses to frequently asked questions.
The conversation on writing about writing continues on the authors' blog, Write On: Notes on Writing about Writing (a channel on Bedford Bits, the Bedford/St. Martin's blog for teachers of writing). Go to

"I can't think of a better text for helping learners understand the richly literate lives they lead, the writing they do, and their identities as writers in the world."
– Kevin Roozen, University of Central Florida