I understand that we have come to some kind of a consensus regarding defining composition; however, I think it is still important to attempt to define it. I would like to know if the rest of the class can at least give some reasons as to why it is important to try and define composition and composition studies as a whole.
Perl seems to give characteristics, as identified by other writers, of composition and the process of writing as a whole. In one instance she points out that “writing as ‘recursive’ instead of ‘linear’” (xv).
She gives another characteristic of writing and language when she refers to Min-zhan Lu who states that “speaking and writing were always a function of the differing political and social contexts in which she was living.” (xvi)
She goes on to suggest that writing is not merely an individual act, but a social one and borrows the words of William Irmscher who reminds all that “writing is above all a symbolic act and an essentially human activity.” (xvii)
Sondra Perl is careful to caution, it seems, teachers of writing practitioners and says that “academic writing is no our only source of sophisticated understanding of what it means to compose” (xviii). She reminds us of “ an aspect of composing often overlooked in academic research: the sense that a writer can create, out of all that has come before, something new.” (xviii)
So, I wonder what is Composition? What is it that we need to teach our students in a composition class?