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The Centrality of Style

(1 review)

Mike Duncan, University of Houston-Downtown

Star M. Vanguri, Nova Southeastern University

Copyright Year: 2013

ISBN 13: 9781602354227

Publisher: WAC Clearinghouse

Language: English

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Reviewed by Heather Weddington, Lecturer, Old Dominion University on 1/6/23

The Centrality of Style provides a useful primer on how and why to teach style in composition classrooms. The book offers 19 different authors' (some represented twice in additional chapters) take on either conceptualizing or applying style. read more

Table of Contents

Part One: Conceptualizing Style

  • Introduction to Part One: Conceptualizing Style, Mike Duncan & Star Medzerian Vanguri
  • An Ethics of Attentions: Three Continuums of Classical and Contemporary Stylistic Manipulation for the 21st Century Composition Classroom, William C. Kurlinkus
  • Stylistic Sandcastles: Rhetorical Figures as Composition's Bucket and Spade, William FitzGerald
  • Using Stylistic Imitation in Freshman Writing Classes: The Rhetorical and Meta-Rhetorical Potential of Transitions in Geoffrey of Vinsauf's Medieval Treatises, Denise Stodola
  • Architectonics and Style, Russell Greer
  • Making Style Practically Cool and Theoretically Hip, Keith Rhodes
  • Jim Corder's Generative Ethos as Alternative to Traditional Argument, or Style's Revivification of the Writer-Reader Relationship, Rosanne Carlo
  • Teaching Style as Cultural Performance, Chris Holcomb and M. Jimmie Killingsworth
  • Inventio and Elocutio: Language Instruction at St. Paul's Grammar School and Today's Stylistic Classroom, Tom Pace
  • The Research Paper As Stylistic Exercise, Mike Duncan

Part Two: Applying Style

  • Introduction to Part Two: Applying Style, Mike Duncan & Star Medzerian Vanguri
  • Style in Academic Writing, Nora Bacon
  • Tracking Interpersonal Style: The Use of Functional Language Analysis in College Writing Instruction, Zak Lancaster
  • Multimodal Style and the Evolution of Digital Writing Pedagogy, Moe Folk
  • Voice, Transformed: The Potentialities of Style Pedagogy in the Teaching of Creative Nonfiction, Crystal Fodrey
  • Fighting Styles: The Pedagogical Implications of Applying Contemporary Rhetorical Theory to the Persuasive Prose of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays, Luke Redington
  • Style and the Professional Writing Curriculum: Teaching Stylistic Fluency through Science Writing, Jonathan Buehl
  • Toward a Pedagogy of Psychic Distance, Erik Ellis
  • What Scoring Rubrics Teach Students (and Teachers) about Style, Star Medzerian Vanguri

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About the Book

InThe Centrality of Style, editors Mike Duncan and Star Medzerian Vanguri argue that style is a central concern of composition studies even as they demonstrate that some of the most compelling work in the area has emerged from the margins of the field. Calling attention to this paradox in his foreword to the collection, Paul Butler observes, "Many of the chapters work within the liminal space in which style serves as both a centralizing and decentralizing force in rhetoric and composition. Clearly, the authors and editors have made an invaluable contribution in their collection by exposing the paradoxical nature of a canon that continues to play a vital role in our disciplinary history."

About the Contributors


Mike Duncan is an assistant professor of English at the University of Houston-Downtown, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in professional writing and rhetoric. He has published articles on style and related issues in journals including College English, JAC, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly, as well as in edited collections.

Star M. Vanguri is an associate professor of writing in the Department of Writing and Communication at Nova Southeastern University. She has been at NSU since 2010 and has served as chair of the MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program and as advisor for several graduate thesis projects. Her research interests include stylistics, onomastics, spatial rhetorics, critical discourse analysis, and classroom writing assessment. Currently, she is editing a collection titled Rhetorics of Names and Naming (forthcoming from Routledge) and is a co-PI on grant project titled The Effects of Explicit Instruction on Sentence Fluency and Style, funded by the CCCC Research Initiative. She is co-editor of The Centrality of Style (WAC Clearinghouse/Parlor Press, 2013). Her work has also appeared in Rhetoric Review and the Journal of Writing Research.

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