“process paradigms in composition studies: affinities and directions”

Identifying the process paradigm as the emerging paradigm in composition studies, Kostelnick looks toward another “field of creative problem-solving — design” to “she light on the evolution and future direction of the writing paradigm”

GOAL: using design field pedagogies and theories to show that developments in design process *corroborate* composition theory and pedagogy; develop a theory of writing processes that “reconcile the writing process paradigm with real world [extracurricular] prodution”

Characteristics of process theories of design:

  1. visual thinking both applied and expressive
  2. design education with theoretical models

Kostelnick envisions design as “the natural counterpart to writing” — a medium for creativity and communication which adapts visual language to diverse contexts and audiences as opposed to writing which takes verbal language as its medium


  • multiple and recursive, cyclic models of process
  • invention [creativity/discovery] as a conscious problem-solving task adapted to a particular audience and contexts
  • has been studied cognitively and through social constructionist theories
  • drawn on theories external to the discipline to redefine issues and generate models

By looking at the generations of research in design studies, Kostelnick warns that composition studies should avoid the construction of a single working model; definingĀ theĀ process of design is a self-defeating tasks, because there are multiple models as writers/designers respond to new tasks in new contexts. The goal should be a “flexible, functional” approach to writing and not a rigid definition

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