This unique volume offers a detailed treatment of the theories, research, and methods that shape composition studies today. Its two-part division allows students first to examine the issues that inform composition pedagogy and then to explore how these issues are actually worked out in the classroom. Part One gives readers a foundation in research and theories that inform writing pedagogy -- essential information for developing their own lessons and activities as they grow as teachers. It draws on findings from a number of different disciplines relevant to teaching writing, such as sociolinguistics, cognitive psychology, rhetoric and composition, psycholinguistics, and even philosophy. The extensive bibliography reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the ongoing investigation of language studies. Part Two translates the information in the earlier chapters into classroom methods. It elaborates the pragmatic approach to composition instruction, which emphasizes the recursive, social nature of composing. Because Part One serves as the foundation for Part Two, providing the rationale for classroom activities, the methods are tightly focused. The aim is not to offer a wide range of possible approaches to teaching composition, but rather to offer an analysis of several approaches that appear to work, given what we currently know. Text features readers will particularly appreciate include: * a balanced, integrated discussion of theory and practice; * a historical overview of current trends and philosophies in composition; * an emphasis on the social nature of composing that goes beyond process; * a tone that treats readers as professionals; * a full chapter on writing assessment; * numerous examples of student writing, including an appendix with ten full-length student essays; and * thorough treatment of nonmainstream students. This volume is a new printing of the first edition of Preparing to Teach Writing. A fully revised and updated second edition is scheduled for publication in 1997.