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"We just needed a place we could write": composing transitions in a first-year student writing group




Hammond, Kathryn, author
Jacobi, Tobi, advisor
Kiefer, Kathleen, committee member
Merolla, Andrew, committee member

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A writing group could be beneficial for first-year college students because during that period of life, termed “late adolescence" (see Erikson; McAdams), many elements of identity are being negotiated. In connection with the changes related to college, many decisions are being made that will affect identity formation. Also, there is potential for an extracurricular writing group for this age group because the focused genre of writing during this first year is typically scholarly, not personal or reflective. Three main questions are guiding my research on this topic: 1) What are first year students’ perceptions of the outcomes of an extracurricular writing group? 2) Does writing through the transition to college raise awareness to identity formation? 3) How does experience-sharing in a writing group impact a students' transition to college? In order to address these questions, I am reviewing relevant literature to draw connections between identity formation, writing groups, and personal writing; I am facilitating a writing group for first-year students at CSU; and I am conducting post-writing group interviews so the participants can evaluate whether personal writing in a social context influenced them during their first year. The purpose of my thesis is tripartite. First, it will revisit expressive writing as valuable to the academic community. Secondly, it will argue for a place for a first-year writing group as a setting for personal writing beyond the classroom. Finally, this thesis synthesizes the potential positive outcomes of this college group through a survey of writing research, reflection on the facilitated writing group, and students’ reported perceptions of the writing group.


Covers not scanned.
Print version deaccessioned 2022.

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English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Rhetoric -- Study and teaching (Higher)


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