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an inventory of publications in writing studies, including post-secondary composition, rhetoric, technical writing, ESL, and discourse analysis

Search Tips

See the Glossary section for a full explanation of search terms and how to use CompPile's unique Glossary.

New Features:
  • In addition to the default advanced search form on CompPile's home page, you can use the Quick Search interface.
  • You can sort search results by clicking any column heading.
  • You can now export search results in several different formats:
    • As an Excel file
    • As a Word file using a table format
    • As a Word file that is not in a table
    • As a CSV file
    • As an XML file
    • As a PDF
  • Search results are available in a print-friendly table format.
  • You can review any item in CompPile.
  • Soon you will be able to annotate and tag any item.
Although we believe the new interface is easy to understand and use, we attempt to anticipate your questions:


Boolean operators: The new interface will not acknowledge Boolean operators within the search fields.  So typing Ericsson and Haswell or Ericsson Haswell in one author field will return an empty set.  To compensate for that change, the interface provides two entry spaces each for author, title, and keywords.  For now, we think those are the fields most likely to use multiple search terms.  However, if users need duplicate entry spaces for other fields, we will consider adding them. 
Search Form Image

The new search interface provides three ways to use Boolean operators.


1—If you are using multiple fields in your search, such as author and title, you have the option of searching for "All conditions" (Boolean AND) or for "Any conditions" (Boolean OR).  The default is "AND" which means that your search for an author and a title will return only records that satisfy conditions in both fields. 


2—The Boolean NOT is indicated by checking the box (in the NOT column).


3—The drop-down list allows you to select the appropriate Boolean operator you wish to apply to that particular field.  (See below for further information about the "between" option.)

When the "Between" operator is selected, a second search box appears; the beginning and ending parameters of the "Between" search will be in separate boxes.


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Search form

Coverage: Until January 2007, CompPile's coverage began with 1939 and ended with 1999.  For those years, coverage is comprehensive and systematic, and currently includes 85,129 records (March 2008).  Beginning January 2007, we began extending coverage beyond 1999, adhering to the same principles that have made CompPile the primary bibliography for our discipline.  As of March 2008, CompPile includes 8821 records from 2000 onward (March 2008).  Glenn and Rich have committed to extending and sustaining CompPile, with the assistance of numerous volunteer "CompPilers."  CompPile will continue to expand, to make CompPile the primary resource for scholarship from 1939 onward. 


(If you do not find publications dated 2000 or beyond, try "rhetoric and composition" as a subject in the Modern Language Assocation International Bibliography. The MLA database now functions as the annual bibliography for the Conference on College Composition and Communication. It is proprietary, and you, your library, or your professional organization must subscribe to it through one of several commercial databases or by joining NCTE.)


(Consider volunteering to help maintain and expand CompPile.)


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Text sensitivity: This search engine is not sensitive to case, italics, or spaces. The engine is sensitive to punctuation marks. For example, pre-service will not locate "preservice," preservice will not locate "pre-service."  [See Glossary section for explanation of hyphenated keywords and specialized search terms.]


Author names: Names of authors appear sometimes last name first and sometimes last name last. Entering kinneavy, james will not catch entries where he appears as "James Kinneavy" or "James L. Kinneavy." To be sure you locate all publications by an author, begin by searching for last name only. When results include several authors with same last name, scan the results to determine the exact ways that your author's name is entered. Use those as search terms with the "equals" Boolean operator to locate only publications by that author.  Multiple authors are always separated by semi-colons (;). Co-authored pieces can be located by typing in a semi-colon in the Author field.


Journal items: Volumes of journals from 1 through 9 are written 01, 02, etc. Issue numbers do not use the zero. Volume and issue number are separated by a period. E.g., college composition and communication 07.3 in the Journal field will locate all records in Number 3 of Volume 7, and college composition and communication 07 will locate the records in all four issues of Volume 7. Journal titles are NOT abbreviated. For titles used, see Journals. A distinctive part of a title, of course, can be used as a shortcut; e.g., edge in the Journal field will locate entries from the journal Writing on the Edge.


Edited collections: To locate all the contributions in a collection of essays / articles, type distinctive publishing information in the Book field. For example, to locate all contributes to Ericsson's and Haswell's Machine scoring of student essays: Truth or consequences, use the one of the author's last names in the author field or the title in the book field.


Wilcard symbols are no longer necessary.  The "Contains" operator assumes the wildcard before and after the search term.


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Rich Haswell (bibliography 1939-1999)
Glenn Blalock (bibliography 2000-current & site)
Copyright © 2004-
Rich Haswell & Glenn Blalock