Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

David Jolliffe

Committee Member

Patrick Slattery

Second Committee Member

Christian Goering

Third Committee Member

Elizabeth Vander Lei

Abstract

While tolerance is the supposed standard of the first-year composition classroom, the writing patterns and argumentation skills of self-identified Christian students often frustrate teachers and create classroom dissonance and interpersonal divergence. This work looks at what apologetic and devotional texts these students are reading before they enter the classroom and then analyzes these works to see how well their content aligns with Composition I reading and writing requirements. To do this, the study takes information from two very distinct groups: religious leaders of young adults and Composition I instructors. The study begins by surveying religious workers to identify the top text that their youth are reading. Next, it details a focus group interview of Composition I instructors to first identify the specific goals they have for students and then turn the goals into a quantifiable rubric. Finally, the work brings both parts together as the top texts are scored according to the rubric to see if the works these young adults are reading align with the skills promoted by teachers of college writing. It concludes by offering recommendations on meeting areas of need and a sample instructional model to supplement portions where the texts may be lacking.

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