Making composition history: Fred Newton Scott
In 1977, Donald Stewart conducted a survey of literature history and rhetoric and composition history knowledge at an NCTE convention in New York City. Since the respondents were reputable instructors who spent almost half their time teaching composition, Stewart was surprised at the results. On the section that tested knowledge of literature history, the high score was 92.5; the low score was 27.5; the average score, 67; mean score, 72.5. Stewart adds, "14 people scored in the 80's, four in the 90's". This essay is about Fred Newton Scott, and I begin by wondering how different--if any-the results would be fifteen years later. Unable to replicate Stewart's survey, I pose to the reader a series of questions similar in nature: How much do you know about composition history? For example, can you tell the story of current traditional rhetoric, a catch-phrase of our day?