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Charles Cooper

Ph.D. (U.C. Berkeley)

Professor Emeritus of Writing


Coordinator, Writing Major 1979-1982; Coordinator, College Writing Programs 1979-1994; Director, Third/Marshall College Writing Program1979-1992; Coordinator, Marshall College Dimensions of Culture Program 1992-94.

In the Literature Department, Professor Cooper taught upper-division writing workshops in the writing major and graduate seminars in composition studies. For the writing major he wrote several new courses: Personal Narrative, Reportage, Persuasion, Written Discourse, and Writing Process. He proposed the Ph.D. degree option in composition studies and chaired 11 dissertation committees.

Charles Cooper taught high school English for nine years in Sacramento and Concord, California. During summer 1967, he was Assistant Director, Reed College Peace Corps Project, training volunteers to teach English language in Iran. After earning his Ph.D. at U.C Berkeley in 1969, he taught at U.C. Riverside (1969-71), State University of New York at Buffalo (1971-79), and UC San Diego (1979-1994). He was Visiting Scholar at Stanford University in spring 1979. He has lectured widely (for example, Karlova, Norwich, Toronto, UCLA, Ohio State, Iowa, Pittsburgh, CUNY) and has been a visiting professor at the University of Iowa and the University of Stockholm.

He has advised the National Assessment of Educational Progress-Writing (1973-1981) and coordinated the development of California's first statewide writing assessment (1986-1991). For over 50 years (as of 2009), his primary interest has been the history, theory, practice,and assessment of school and college writing instruction, both in stand-alone courses and across the disciplines. His college textbook (co-authored with Rise Axelrod, Professor, Department of English, UC Riverside) for first-year writing courses has been widely adopted.

Selected Publications

Evaluating Writing (co-edited with Lee Odell). Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1977.

Research on Composing: Points of Departure (co-edited with Lee Odell).Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1978.

"Procedures for Evaluating Writing: Assumptions and Needed Research" (co-authored with Lee Odell). College English 42 (1980): 35-43.

Reading, Thinking and Writing: Results from the 1979-80 National Assessment of Reading and Literature (co-authored with Applebee, Arthur, Kay Barrow, Ina Mullis, and Anthony Petrosky). Denver: National Assessment of Educational Progress, 1981.

"A Theory of the Writing Process" (co-authored with Ann Matsuhashi). The Psychology of Written Language, ed. Margaret Martlew. Chichester and New York: John Wiley, 1981.

"Procedures for Describing Written Texts,"; Research on Writing: Principles and Methods, eds. Peter Mosenthal, Lynne Tamor, and Sean A. Walmsley. New York and London: Longman, 1983.

"Studying the Writing Abilities of a University Freshman Class," New Directions in Composition Research, eds. Richard Beach and Lillian S. Bridwell. New York and London: The Guilford Press, 1984.

Researching Response to Literature and the Teaching of Literature: Points of Departure, ed. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex, 1985.

Studying Writing: Linguistic Approaches (edited with Sidney Greenbaum. University College, London). Newbury Park, London, New Delhi: Sage, 1986.

"California's New Writing Assessment" (co-authored with Beth Brenneman).The Quarterly 11, National Writing Project (1989): 9-14, 22.

"Contributions of Academic and Dialogic Journals to Writing about Literature" (co-authored with Susan Peck MacDonald). Writing, Teaching, and Learning in the Disciplines. Eds. Anne Herrington and Charles Moran. NewYork: The Modern Language Association, 1992.

Evaluating Writing: The Role of Teachers' Knowledge about Text, Learning, and Culture (co-edited with Lee Odell). Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English. 1999.

";What We Know About Genres and How It Can Help Us Assign and Evaluate Writing." Evaluating Writing: The Role of Teachers' Knowledge about Text, Learning, and Culture (co-edited with Lee Odell). Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1999. 23-52.

Writing the World: Reading and Writing about Issues of the Day (co-authored with Susan Peck MacDonald). Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martins Press, 2000. (a textbook for college first-year writing courses)

The St. Martin's Guide to Writing (co-authored with Rise Axelrod). 8th ed.[1st ed. 1986] Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martin's Press, 2007. (a textbook for college first-year writing courses)