Who are "basic writers" and how are they being defined?

“For Shaughnessy, blaming the students for supposed deficiencies was feckless and unjust; errors and other nonstandard features were the result of social inequities, not personal failings” (Otte 8).

“The ‘mystery’ of error is what most intimidates students—the worry that errors just ‘happen’ without a person’s knowing how or when …Freedom from error is finally a matter of understanding error, not of getting special dispensation to err simply because writing formal English is thought to be beyond the capabilities or interests of some students” (Otte 12).

“A policy of admissions that reaches out beyond traditional sources for its students, bringing in to a college campus young men and women from diverse classes, races, and cultural backgrounds who have attended good, poor, and mediocre schools…” (Otte 13).

“At the heart of these complex maneuvers, the simple fact was that the new collegians encamped in BW were the wrong color and the wrong class, too dark and too low-income to get the same access to 4-year campuses and degrees enjoyed by an elite prior to 1970” (Shor 40). Who are the scholars/teachers and major articles/books published?

Scholars / Teachers: Shaughnessy, Bruffee, Tate, Emig, Lyons, Ann Raimes, Harvey Weiner, Richard Freeman


1971: Emig, Janet, The Composing Process of Twelfth Graders 1974: No Author, CCCC Conference Paper, “Students’ Right to their Own Language” 1975: Merrill Sheils, Newsweek, “Why Johnny Can’t Write” 1976: Richard Freeman, The Overeducated American 1976: Gary Tate, Teaching Composition 1977: Mina Shaughnessy, Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing 1978: Muriel Harris, College English, “Individual Diagnoses: Searching for Causes, Not Symptoms of Writing Deficiencies” 1978: Sondra Perl, Dissertation, “Five Writers Writing: Case Studies of the Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers”