For English Composition courses. The Blair Reader encourages students to contribute to public discussion in the wider world by reading actively as well as critically and responding to the ideas of others. After more than twenty-five years of teaching composition, the authors have come to see reading and writing as interrelated activities: If students are going to write effectively, they must also read actively and critically. In addition, they see writing as both a private and a public act. As a private act, it enables students to explore their feelings and reactions and to discover their ideas about subjects that are important to them. As a public act, writing enables students to see how their own ideas fit into larger discourse communities, where ideas gain meaning and value. The authors have found and strongly believe that students are enriched and engaged when they view the reading and writing they do as a way of participating in ongoing public discussions about ideas that matter to them. From the beginning, the goal in The Blair Reader has always been to encourage students to contribute to these discussions in the wider world by responding to the ideas of others.