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ERIC Number: EJ818660
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
Fear, Teaching Composition, and Students' Discursive Choices: Re-Thinking Connections between Emotions and College Student Writing
Chandler, Sally
Composition Studies, v35 n2 p53-70 Fall 2007
The study of emotion as discourse not only eliminates objections about the individual psychology of students, it also connects researchers to methods that go beyond reflection and self-reporting. In this article, the author pursues these ideas within the context of a college composition course where students experienced a particularly high level of anxiety. The author correlates formal characteristics of students' final, reflective essays with findings from psychological studies of writing and healing, as well as with life-course development studies on subject positioning and discourse. This analysis suggests that writing assignments that press young adults toward critical thinking and identity shifts can evoke stressful emotions that, in turn, evoke discursive patterns inappropriate for the demands of critical, analytic writing. The author focuses on emotional as opposed to cognitive factors in students' composing processes, and she poses a theory for how and why anxiety surrounding the writing process might lead to the cliches, generalizations, and pat conclusions so typical of beginning writers. The author concludes by considering how re-thinking connections between emotional and written discourses can help instructors support students as they strive to meet expectations for college writing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A