The fifth and final chapter in the book, “Multiwriting Blues,” combines the previous discussions with the larger blues references made throughout each chapter. While the blues play a reoccurring role in the previous sections of the book, Davis and Shaddle focus on composition and blues music as ways of exploring personal experiences most exhaustively in the final chapter.
Like composition, the blues are forwarded as: a strategy to connect intellectual and emotional paths; flexible and malleable where the writer/artist “add[s] to, recombine[s], morph[s], or distill[s];” and a means of understanding existence (163). Blues are further an “emancipatory music that seeks to free people from their chains, whether spiritual or physical, by discovering and acknowledging the many ways in which we are not free” (166). Like the blues, multiwriting is forwarded as a way to free instructors from long-held standards and a way for writers to see research, persuasion, and essay writing as a freeing experience where knowledge is not only read about and reported on but also mixed and shared.
While the earlier chapters rely on a pedagogical approach to revising standard genres, the final chapter moves a bit away from this. Just as Davis and Shadle begin their book by suggesting that students in writing classes are often not preparing to enter the academy as a career, and that the traditional genres should engage writers and readers, their book concludes by doing just this. The references to the blues here and elsewhere connect two, initially dissimilar concepts, but two concepts that matter to both writers. The text itself demonstrates the rhetors as investigators, engages the readers as curious others, by tracing an open question about how best to resee compositing at a crossroads.