ERIC Number: ED198527
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Writing Anxiety and Discrimination in Freshman Composition.
Thompson, Merle O'Rourke
Research has shown that freshman composition teachers often discriminate against students by giving better grades to longer papers or to papers that are clean and legible. Studies have also shown that teachers consider females to be more capable at verbal skills and to have neater handwriting. Since teachers expect low writing anxiety in females and high writing anxiety in males, they tend to downgrade high-anxiety females and low-anxiety males. There are several ways teachers can identify students with writing anxiety to eliminate possible discrimination. If a student's papers are nonexistent or always tardy, this may indicate writing anxiety caused by lifestyles of procrastination or perfectionism. The student whose paper is short but fairly good mechanically may have an aesthetic fear of the blank page or difficulty getting an essay started. A short paper with poor mechanics might have been written by a student with a lack of basic skills, which can be improved through remedial instruction. A student with no writing anxiety may produce a hastily written first draft, but realistic grading will create an anxiety level sufficient for better writing. A paper that is long and neat, but does not communicate might indicate a fear of structure and ordering of thoughts, a fear that can be reduced by a better understanding of the writing process. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Apprehension
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Conference on English in the Two Year College (15th, Birmingham, AL, February 21-23, 1980). Some pages may not reproduce clearly.