Larry Beason

Beason Headshot

Larry Beason | Professor

Specializes in rhetorical analysis, composition pedagogy, grammar, and science fiction.

HUMB 274  |  460-7861  |

Eyes Before Ease CoverEyes before Ease: The Unsolved Mysteries and Secret Histories of Spelling. McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Part guide to better spelling, part paean to an endangered art, Eyes Before Ease is filled with fascinating trivia, historical asides, astute personal observations, and good-natured humor about why spelling is still important—even with the advent of spellcheckers. Professor Larry Beason argues that spelling is more than just the correct arrangement of letters—it sheds light on the human experience itself. It lets us communicate with other people, it indicates (right or wrong) our intelligence, and also brings us together as a community. Beason also explains why our particular spelling system is so difficult, how to become a better speller, and why you should never trust a cyborg for the correct spelling of a homophone.

Other Books

  • A Commonsense Guide to Grammar & Usage, 7th edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2015. Co-author: Mark Lester.
  • The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage, 2nd edition.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Co-author: Mark Lester. (This book has also been translated into a Chinese version.)
  • Writer's Choice: Grammar Reteaching.  New York: Glencoe, 1993.  (Four separate workbooks that supplement Glencoe's composition/grammar texts for grades 9-12.)


  • "Grammar Interventions in Gaming Forums: Intersections of Academic and Non-Academic Standards."  Rhetoric/Composition/Play through Video Games: Reshaping Theory and Practice of Writing.  Ed. Richard Colby, Matthew S. S. Johnson, and Rebekah Shultz Colby. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 175-92.
  • "Fostering Quality through Sense of Place." WPA: Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators 34.1 (2010): 149-52.
  • "Ethos and Error: How Business People React to Errors."  College Composition and Communication 53 (2001): 33-62.
  • "Warriner's, Textbooks, and the Alleged Focus on Student Writing."  Journal of Teaching Writing 16.2 (copyright 1998, published fall 2000): 273-94.
  • "Composition as Service: Implications of Utilitarian, Duties, and Care Ethics."  The Ethics of Writing Instruction: Issues in Theory and Practice, Michael Pemberton, ed.  Stanford: Ablex, 2000. 105-37.
  • "Preparing Future Teachers of Writing to Use the Web: Balancing the Pedagogical with the Technical."  Weaving a Virtual Web: Practical Approaches to New Information Technologies, Sibylle Gruber, ed. Urbana: NCTE, 2000.  25-40.
  • "Listening as Assessment: How Students and Teachers Evaluate WAC."  In Assessing Writing Across the Curriculum: Diverse Approaches & Practices.  Brian Huot & Kathleen Yancey, eds.  Greenwich, CT: Ablex, 1997.  97-121.  Co-author: Laurel Darrow.
  • "A Canon for Argumentation?" Composition Chronicle 10.2 (1997): 5-7.
  • "Blending and Connecting the Classroom."  InLand: A Journal for Teachers of English Language Arts 18.2 (1995): 4-5.
  • "Textbooks on Argumentative Writing...."  Composition Chronicle 8.2 (1995): 1-4.
  • "Feedback and Revision in Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Classes."  Research in the Teaching of English 27 (1993): 395-422.
  • "Risk-Taking in the Background and Foreground of Writing."  Writing Instructor 12 (1993): 115-24.
  • "Why Teach Writing?"  Washington English Journal 15.1 (1992): 36-42.
  • "Strategies for Establishing an Effective Persona: An Analysis of Appeals to Ethos in Business Speeches."  Journal of Business Communication 28 (1991): 326-46.
  • "A Descriptive Writing Assessment Approach: The Writing Profile."  Adult Assessment Forum 1.4 (1991): 6-7.
  • "An Anatomy of Writing Assessment."  Washington English Journal 13.1 (1991): 37-44. Co-author: Dana Elder.


  • Review of What We Really Value: Beyond Rubrics in Teaching and Assessing Writing. WPA 29 (2005): 115-18.
  • Review of Practice of Technical and Scientific Communication.  IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 42.3 (1999): 190-92.
  • Regularly reviewed articles for "Perusing the Journals" feature.  Composition Chronicle 10.3 (1997): 4-5, 10. Composition Chronicle 9.8 (1996): 7-9. Composition Chronicle 9.2 (1996): 9-11. Composition Chronicle   8.7 (1995): 6-8. Composition Chronicle 8.3 (1995):10-11. Composition Chronicle 7.8 (1994): 6-7. Composition Chronicle 7.2 (1994): 7-8. Composition Chronicle 6.8 (1993): 6-7.
  • Review of Process and Portfolios in Writing Instruction.  InLand: A Journal for Teachers of English Language Arts 17.1 (1994): 41-42.
  • Review of Writing Centers in ContextWriting Lab Newsletter 18.4 (1993): 14-15.