Para-expertise, tacit knowledge, and writing problems

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


While "expertise" has been both an implicit and explicit focal point of composition, our most familiar models of expertise-running along a spectrum from novice to expert-may not allow for a nuanced deployment of tacit knowledge. Without dismissing any of the field's important work on expertise, therefore, I introduce the concept of para-expertise: the experiential, embodied, and tacit knowledge that does not translate into the vocabulary or skills of disciplinary expertise. This concept may help to resituate how we conceptualize, teach, and use notions of expertise in the classroom, since it can teach nonexperts to pursue rhetorical action through strategic expertise alliances without overstepping the very real limitations of nonexpertise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-138
Number of pages22
JournalCollege English
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 by the National Council of Teachers of English. All Rights reserved.


  • Composition
  • Multiple intelligences
  • Rhetoric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics


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