Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Marie Marianetti

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature | Rhetoric and Composition


Critical Reading, Literacy, Meta-cognition, Cognition, Interdisciplinary, Academic Writing


The basis for the argument—a return to literature in first-year college composition—stems from a composition debate that emerged in the 90s that suggested instructors of composition refrain from using literature in their writing courses. The thesis proposes that literature, specifically Greek literature, be re-purposed and integrated back into first-year writing college courses. Chapter one contextualizes the historical debate and proposes imaginative literary texts return to first-year writing. The second chapter presents cross-disciplinary advantages, looking closely at the value of teaching literature in composition classes as a tool for building prior knowledge, developing cross-disciplinary insights and access into other disciplinary conversations, in addition to promoting critical literacies. The third chapter discusses the cognitive and meta-cognitive benefits imaginative literary texts can have on the brain, in so far as it relates to reading, writing, and critical thinking, and in turn their effect in academic writing.