Date of Graduation

8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

David A. Jolliffe

Committee Member

Patrick Slattery

Second Committee Member

Casey Kayser

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics; Education; Adaptation; Adaptation theory; Composition; Encourage; Re-writing; Recognition; Revision; Rhetorical; Writing

Abstract

Many students don’t want to revise their writing, or do so in small, surface-level ways. This has been an issue many composition instructors have faced over the years, and there is a large body of scholarship about revision and the writing process by many in writing studies. From Nancy Sommers, Janet Emig, Donald Murray, and others, to more recent publications “post-process,” composition instructors and writing studies scholars are concerned about revision and the role it plays in students’ learning to write. As a strategy for teaching bigger-level revision, I implemented the use of adaptation theory (reading/watching and doing adaptation) as a way to encourage student buy-in regarding how important revision is. By using adaptation theory to teach rhetorical situations and revision, I conducted a study of students’ changing attitudes towards revision. I studied two classes (about 17 students each) of first year, second semester, composition. I collected written work from participating students and then analyzed this data for evidence of changing attitudes towards revision. How exactly did the use of adaptation theory scaffold or support their learning of bigger-level revision? Many students had much more positive attitudes in the classroom, and towards revision, than in previous courses I have taught. There was an overwhelmingly positive response to students adapting work and looking at adaptations in class as a way to learn how to revise.

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