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English 6312 has two purposes: First and most important, it serves as an introductory support structure for PhD candidates who are teaching their first first-year writing classes at SMU. Second, in a general way, it introduces graduate students to the field of composition studies that has emerged in North American English Departments in the last forty years. The course helps PhD students write syllabi for and plan their classes for the fall term; it also offers an ongoing conversation about grading, conferences, classroom management, etc. In addition, all students read three books that outline the development of the field of composition studies, and each student reads and reports on a fourth book that describes the field as it exists now.