Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Daiva Markelis


Since the split between creative writing and composition that largely occurred in the late 1920s, the two departments have wrestled with boundaries that have defined and challenged both courses. Despite the occasionally contentious relationship between creative writing and composition/rhetoric scholars, the two disciplines have served as strong allies in the past. "Reuniting Old Allies" argues that returning to such an alliance could provide a fruitful, blended approach to writing.

This thesis traces the history of this schism from Aristotle to the modern English department, attempting to reconcile the two departments with a middle-ground approach called critical-creative composition that emphasizes the strong rhetorical strategies already present within creative writing, as well as the inherently creative nature of composition. It analyzes the textual, rhetorical, and creative strategies of each genre and demonstrates where such strategies could be implemented in a critical-creative curriculum, as well as a pedagogical outline to guide those interested in such implementation. This map includes an explication of overarching pedagogical strategies and goals, practical classroom exercises, theoretical backing for those exercises, and sample assignments.