Music in the First-Year Writing Classroom

Scott Strovas


“Primary research counts, but we don’t teach it.” This was the sentiment, if these were not the actual words, of Lynée Lewis Gaillet in her critique of the traditional composition curriculum at the spring 2011 annual meeting of the College English Association in St. Petersburg (“Everyday Archives”). Gaillet proposes an alternative to furthering students’ sometimes unnecessary reliance on secondary research. In her own course, she sends students not into library stacks or electronic databases to begin their writing projects, but rather to special collections and archives. Her approach teaches students sincerity, originality, and independence in their writing. By situating her course within primary source investigation, Gaillet aspires to train “scholars who have something original, interesting, and pointed to add to academic conversations” (“Extending the Vertical” 2).

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