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ERIC Number: ED512083
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 100
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 102
A Mixed Method Study on Freshman Students' Writing Performance as Addressed by Postsecondary Professors
Hughes, Susan M.
Online Submission, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Research indicates that difficulty in general education classes significantly contributes to attrition among college freshmen. Accordingly, this mixed-method study sought to address the related problem of high school students' preparation for freshman composition or English classes. The purpose of the sequential explanatory study was to identify the writing weaknesses of freshman composition students, relative to the types of writing assignments they must be able to complete in class, and investigate freshman professors' assessments of student preparation. The quantitative research question investigated specific writing weaknesses and required assignments of freshman students. The qualitative research question focused on what professors perceive as skill indicators for low performance of freshman writing. A survey was completed by 25 professors teaching introductory English composition courses that included writing assignments across 9 Southeastern community colleges and universities. Descriptive analysis of the survey data revealed the 3 most common assignments were critical analysis, argumentative essays, and expository essays. The three most common student writing problems were revising, documentation, and research skills. Focus group data from 3 university professors were first coded for significant statements aligned to specific improvements in student writing. Coded data were then analyzed for core themes that included word usage, sentence structure, and diction as student weaknesses. The results of this study could create social change by providing high schools, their faculties, and districts with the specific requirements, noted problems, and insights from college professors which will enable all secondary personnel involved to make critical classroom and curriculum decisions in order to better prepare graduating students. Four appendixes are included: (1) Survey; (2) Survey Consent Form; (3) Survey Consent Form; and (4) Survey Consent Form. (Contains 4 tables and 5 figures.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A