ERIC Number: ED244260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
"Treading Softly": Dealing with the Apprehensions of Older Freshman Writers.
To identify and help alleviate the apprehensions of returning adult students at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 42 subjects were given the Miller and Daly Writing Apprehension Test (WAT) before and after a composition course, their grades were recorded, and their teachers completed questionnaires regarding student attitudes and performance. In addition, four volunteer case study subjects participated in interviews and submitted written drafts of papers. It was discovered that the level of apprehension determined by the WAT did not necessarily correspond to a student's success in the class, and the initial widespread anxiety reported by teachers and interview data did not indicate dysfunctional anxiety in performance. Factors that promoted anxiety were found to be (1) new writing tasks, (2) conspicuousness in a class of younger students, (3) uncertainty about class procedures, (4) memories of past difficulties or rigid prescriptions about good writing, and (5) the anticipation of high evaluation. Other factors affecting anxiety levels included higher perception of future ramifications and authority conflict. While anxiety levels were indicated as high, it was shown that a sympathetic teacher can help students achieve success. (CRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).