ERIC Number: ED214558
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Returning Student: Writing Anxiety and General Anxiety.
Thompson, Merle O'Rourke
In 1981, a study was conducted at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) to determine if a correlation exists between the general anxiety and writing anxiety of returning college students and to assess these levels of anxiety before and after participation in a freshman composition course. Student volunteers from 21 composition classes at NVCC were administered the Anxiety Scale Questionnaire prepared by the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT) and the Thompson Attitude Scale (TAS), designed to measure writing anxiety. Scores were obtained for 154 students during the first and final weeks of the quarter. Results of the study included: (1) a correlation appeared between general anxiety and writing anxiety in both first and last week scores; (2) returning students (those over 22 years of age) showed lower levels of general anxiety at course entry and exit than younger freshmen; (3) returning males showed considerable lower writing anxiety than younger students or returning females; (4) returning students exhibited a significant reduction in writing anxiety between entry and exit scores; (5) in responding to the TAS, returning students expressed anxiety about skills generally taught in freshman English (e.g., vocabulary, organizing material, and getting started in writing); and (6) only females under 22 showed a decrease in general anxiety from entry to exit scores. The study report relates findings to informal teacher observations. The TAS is appended. (KL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Anxiety
Note: Paper presented at the Northeast Regional Conference on English in the Two Year College (Baltimore, MD, October, 1981).