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Psychological principles and pedagogical possibilities: toward a new theory of motivation in the composition classroom




Van Winkle, Kevin W., author
Frank, Katherine, advisor
Souder, Donna, committee member
Eskew, Doug, committee member

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Despite its importance, the issue of a student’s motivation to engage in the composition process is rarely discussed in composition theory. As a first step towards correcting the absence of motivation as a topic in composition theory, this thesis advances the notion that more attention should be paid to what can motivate students to engage in the composition process. The central tenet of this thesis is that students motivated to write are more likely to become better writers and fulfill the expectations composition instructors hold for them. Furthermore, the key to motivating students to engage in the composition process requires composition instructors make connections between the use of composition and the students’ original goals for entering the university. This thesis puts forth the argument that rhetoric, as learned and developed through composition studies, is the most useful aspect of composition studies for students, and therefore the teaching of rhetoric in the composition classroom is most likely to motivate students to write. As a result of the dearth of research and discussion on the topic of student motivation in the composition classroom, it was necessary to search outside the composition theory field and look at what others, namely psychologists, have to say about motivation as it relates to individuals and their participation in academic endeavors. Lastly, this thesis makes suggestions for future areas of study as related to student motivation in the composition classroom.


Covers not scanned.
Print version deaccessioned 2022.

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English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Motivation in education


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