Date of Graduation

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

Patrick J. Slattery

Committee Member

Elias Dominguez Barajas

Second Committee Member

David A. Jolliffe

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics; Education; Composition; First-year writing; Style

Abstract

As I began to investigate the concept of style in Composition curriculums, I quickly realized two things: style is difficult to define, and student input about style is virtually absent from the previous scholarship on style theory and pedagogy. This project, therefore, does not seek to end the debate about style. It seeks to do exactly the opposite. I want to extend the ongoing conversation about style even further, this time to include student voices. My project seeks to triangulate discussions about style to include voices from scholars, practitioners, and students. Students are too often an afterthought, receiving instruction based on pedagogies that are debated and theorized about in academic journals as they are being implemented in the classroom. But students should have been conversing with us all along, their input and feedback directly informing the ways that we teach. I make the argument that style should be a central concept in Composition curriculums so that students can think critically about the ways they write and subsequently become empowered with the ability to navigate writing and rhetorical situations both inside and outside the academic discourse community. In order to incorporate student voices into the conversations about style, I have chosen case studies as my research method.

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