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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Humanities

First Advisor

Robert R. Johnson


Academic approaches to the teaching of writing have been notable for being open to drawing from a variety of disciplines. One field has been largely absent from the writing studies scene for the past three decades. In this dissertation I address this gap by introducing a new branch of linguistics (Usage-based linguistics) to writing studies scholars and practitioners, focusing on two of its theories of metaphor (Lakoff and Johnson's 1980 Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Fauconnier and Turner's 1998 Blending Theory), and relating how I have brought them to bear in my writing classes. By doing so, I hope to provide writing teachers with a conceptual approach to meaning-making that relates language to thought, one which can strengthen their students' abilities to recognize and improve their skills in these negotiating processes in and through thinking, discussing, and writing for the audience.