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ERIC Number: ED566091
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 375
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-1216-6
From High School Writing to College Writing: A Case Study of University Freshmen in Transition
Waner, Lisa Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Riverside
Students moving from high school writing to college writing are, from a sociocultural perspective, transitioning from one "community of practice" to another, from one "Discourse" to another (Gee, 1992; Wenger, 1998). This process can be difficult, not only for basic writers (Bartholomae, 1985; Shaughnessy, 1977) but also for those students who test into regular freshman English classes and therefore are considered ready for college level writing. Drawing on sociocultural theory, I studied students' experiences as they entered this community of freshman writing at a four-year university focusing on a class for students who had satisfied the prerequisites for Freshman Composition 1. I studied the class using case-study methodology (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007; Hammersley & Atkinson, 1995). I observed and recorded every class session (approximately 30) for an academic quarter, held multiple interviews with the instructor and four focal students, and collected the focal students' assigned writing and other classroom documents. I analyzed the data thematically and structurally, drawing from Bartholomae (1985), Blau (2010), Smagorinsky, Daigle, O'Donnell-Allen, & Bynum (2010) and Sperling & Freedman (1987), and looked for developing themes based on Wenger's (1998) theoretical lens of Communities of Practice. Themes included the development of shared repertoires, willingness to engage in the routines/practices of the classroom community, students' response to student/instructor expectations and challenges, and gaining or denial of legitimacy as a potential member of the classroom writing community. My study found that while participation in key community practices was part of the process of joining a new community, the mutual granting of legitimacy by the instructor and student was instrumental in moving students toward membership in this new community. In addition, my study examined the multiple avenues of access offered through instructor feedback to the students and the possible impact student response and interpretation of these comments had on writing performance. My dissertation contributes to understanding how students from varied pre-college contexts negotiate the 21st century college writing community, adding to our knowledge of the ways that varied students' experiences, academic promise, and writing performance come together and unfold in this key course for incoming college freshmen. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A