Author(s)

Florette Press

Date Approved

9-12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education

Department

Educational Services, Administration, and Higher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton

Subject(s)

Engagement (Philosophy);Academic writing

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

While student engagement theory recognizes writing as an engaging activity, there have been few studies that explore the levels of engagement within college students' academic writing. Analyses of in-text interactions between writers and their imagined reader(s) can uncover writers' attitudes about themselves as writers and as participants in the academic community. This study looked specifically at students' in-text interaction in the context of overall student engagement. Making a connection between interactional features in writing and overall student engagement provided a new perspective by which professors and administrators can evaluate students' academic integration. This study combined text analysis and interviews with seven College Composition I students at a public university to investigate students' out-of-text engagement, in-text engagement, and the relationship between the two. Findings suggested that participants consider themselves engaged student participants, but not writers participating in the academic community. Students' in-text interactions included self-mentions, attitude markers, and reader references, which often reflected participants' reported comfort and confidence within the community.

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