Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Elizabeth Hodges


In an attempt to better understand writing as process, this thesis blends textual genetics with observations from the holograph manuscripts of J.R.R. Tolkien’s first chapter of The Lord of the Rings. Tracking his revisions demonstrates complex revision techniques that can inform composition theory—especially revision studies. Discussed are revision terms and their applications, several of Tolkien’s revisions and their significance, and textual genetics as a lens to better understand an author’s motivations and influences. Some largely uncharted territory for composition studies is explored through examining Tolkien’s unique and multifaceted use of visual images to aid his writing process. In addition, Tolkien’s novels were part of an ecosystem which influenced his view of the fantasy genre and vice versa. All of these observations have profound implications for understanding the development of a text and for teaching writing.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013

Available for download on Tuesday, May 11, 2213