Date of Award




First Advisor

Dr. Tom Pace


Rhetoric and composition studies, a growing concentration within English studies, researches the theories and practices of teaching writing. A primary interest in the field is: how can students apply the writing skills they learn in the college classroom to other academic and non-academic contexts? This application involves a specific type of writing transfer, the act by which students recruit skills and knowledge used previously in order to effectively address a new situation. Scholars have defined transfer in a variety of ways since the early twentieth century, but all have reached consensus on an important point: successful transfer demands a wide array of cognitive skills which students develop through writing assignments. Three elements of assignment design are especially critical in helping students practice and refine these cognitive skills: a problem-solving structure, task sequence, and audience awareness.