Bartholomae continues talking about inventing the university and he uses as an example an essay of a student, where the student was asked about a time when . In the article “Inventing the University” by David Bartholomae, writes about basic writers problems and when they sit down to write for any class. Every time a student sits down to write for us, he has to invent the university for the occasion — invent the university, that is, or a branch of David Bartholomae.

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David Bartholomae (), “Inventing the University”: Summary | Discourse Communities

For this to happen they must feel one with their audience as if they were apart of that academic community. Since speaking and writing will be asked of before they actually learn that academic communities information the student must dare to speak the language of the community. Bartholomae goes onto say there is two approaches writers can take while writing.

Then there is readers based prose, which is writing with the reader in mind.


Inventing the University – Accessing Rhetoric

He brings up that Linda Flower has argued expert writers are better at the reader based prose and can better imagine how a reader will react to their writing and Bartholomae agrees with this.

He says the writer can then construct what they have to say around a goal vartholomae and the reader share.

For this to happen the writer must be one with the reader. Also they must use common points of departure.

The problem in asking students to take on this role privilege and authority when writing to a professor is that you are asking bartholomse to deny the situation in the classroom where the teacher has all the power and the student has very little. This is where he believes much of the problems students have with writing come from.

When students try to take on this role they often just end up imitating their professor rather than discover and draw their own conclusions. They must extend themselves into the community they are writing to for discovery to happen. Bartholomae wants to fix this by seeing more writing in all classes.

He blames this on teachers and curriculum designers who say writing is a mode of learning but make the students use it as a tool.


Bartholomae continues with ways inventung fixing problems basic writers have. The first is for the academic community determine what their conventions are and for them to be written out. From there they can be taught in classrooms and teachers can be more precise and helpful when they ask students to argue, think, describe, or define because there is a grey area in many communities that confuse students.

Another is that teachers examine what students write and see where the problems lye in the context of other thee writing they will be able to see better points of discord when students try to write their way into the university.

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