1st Edition

Writing, Imitation, and Performance Insights from Neuroscience Research

By Irene L. Clark Copyright 2023

    This book reconsiders imitation as a valuable pedagogical approach in Writing Studies. Countering concerns about product-oriented teaching, formulaic writing, paternalistic or elitist pedagogy, and plagiarism, the book maintains that the use of imitation can offer a writer greater insight and help to develop a clear writerly identity.

    Positing that writers often use imitation as a step toward developing new directions, structures, and styles, and that this imitation is indeed a form of performance, the author explores the neuropsychological aspect of imitation to show how it is a valid form of writing instruction. She explains how learning, experience, and role playing are manifested in the brain and influence one’s sense of self, one’s identity. The book emphasizes that imitation can provide students with opportunities to perform habitually as writers, readers, and critical thinkers, enabling them to develop new understandings and confidence in their ability to improve. It also includes suggestions for classroom application, written by Craig A. Meyer.

    This book offers important insights for scholars and teachers of writing and composition, education, and communication studies.

    Why Imitation?

    1. Imitation and Writing Studies

    2. Cognition, Metacognition, and Neuroscience Research

    3. Imitation, Genre Awareness, and Authorial Identity

    4. Imitation, Critical Thinking, and Identity

    5. Imitation, Multiple Englishes, and Rhetorical Flexibility

    6. Suggestions for Integrating Imitation
    By Craig A. Meyer


    Irene L. Clark is Professor of English and Director of Composition at California State University, Northridge, USA. She has published in The Journal of Basic Writing, College Composition and Communication, WPA Writing Program Administration, Composition Forum, WAC Journal, Writing Center Journal, and Journal of Writing Assessment. Her books include Concepts in Composition: Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing, 3rd edition (2019). Her recent scholarship focuses on identity, imitation, critical thinking, and neuropsychological research.