INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING: STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE ROLE OF WRITING IN UNIVERSITY CLASSES.
AuthorPADGETT, SUZANNE COOK.
KeywordsEnglish language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching (Higher)
English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching (Higher)
University of Arizona -- Students -- Attitudes.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study provides a description of the writing done by Freshman English students in classes other than English at The University of Arizona. The study involved three aspects of observation and documentation of writing habits: a Questionnaire administered to 1,442 students, a Writing Checklist completed by twenty-three students over a one week period, and case study interviews of five students. All three aspects were considered in the findings for the following research questions: (1) What kinds of writing tasks are students doing in classes other than English? (2) How frequent are these tasks? (3) What quantities of writing are being done? (4) To what audiences are the students writing? The population for the study is representative of the university. The task of Taking notes was the most frequently occurring by far. Journals and Creative writing were the least frequent, also by a wide margin. Students felt that teachers were more concerned with content than with presentation. Little in-class time was spent on pre-writing activities. The highest responses were to questions about students' values and attitudes concerning writing. More school writing seems to take place on Monday and Wednesday, with Friday the lowest week day work response. Little work in writing occurs on the weekend. All three aspects point to similar conclusions: students are not writing very much, they are not writing in very many different modes, they are not getting very much guidance in their writing, and they are not getting very much affirmation for writing as a valid cognitive skill in the classroom. Some students are receiving some of these benefits, but the majority of university students are not. Little research has been done on university students to determine how much and what kinds of writing they are doing in classes other than English. If our society continues to value writing as an important skill, universities must re-examine the role of writing in college classes. Without the process of discovery that occurs when writing, the student's education and cognitive growth are greatly limited. Writing is a valuable cognitive aid that must be used in all departments.
Degree ProgramSecondary Education