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ERIC Number: EJ761634
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 41
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 79
ISSN: ISSN-0034-527X
Are Advanced Placement English and First-Year College Composition Equivalent? A Comparison of Outcomes in the Writing of Three Groups of Sophomore College Students
Hansen, Kristine; Reeve, Suzanne; Gonzalez, Jennifer; Sudweeks, Richard R.; Hatch, Gary L.; Esplin, Patricia; Bradshaw, William S.
Research in the Teaching of English, v40 n4 p461-501 May 2006
This study was conducted to obtain empirical data to inform policy decisions about exempting incoming students from a first-year composition (FYC) course on the basis of Advanced Placement (AP) English exam scores. It examined the effect of avoiding first-year writing on the writing abilities of sophomore undergraduates. Two three-page writing samples were obtained from a subset of 182 sophomore students enrolled in a history of civilization course. Each essay was scored holistically by two readers; the average score across the two papers was used as an index of writing competence. Those who had taken an AP English course and a suitable FYC course performed significantly better than those who had only AP English or only FYC; both latter groups performed less than adequately on the tasks measured. These results indicate that exempting students from college writing based on work done in high school may be unwise because more instruction in writing at college appears to solidify student learning. First-year writing courses that build on strong college preparatory work may best prepare students for writing expected in other college classes. The College Board's support for writing, demonstrated by its including writing on the SAT and founding the National Commission on Writing, appears inconsistent with the aims of its Advanced Placement English program, which may encourage students to take less writing in college by exempting them from FYC altogether. (Contains 10 tables, 1 figure and 5 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)