Author(s)

Christen Haigh

Date Approved

6-28-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Writing

Department

Writing Arts

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Penrod, Diane

Second Advisor

Martin, Deb

Subject(s)

Communication in science;Literary form

Disciplines

Technical and Professional Writing

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the use of genre writing as an alternative to commonly used expository writing in the seventh grade life science classroom. My research includes student surveys and educator interviews. I surveyed 44 seventh grade science students using a Likert scale. The participating students include 1 eleven-year-old boy, 10 twelve-year-old boys, 10 thirteen-year-old boys, 1 fourteen-year-old boy, 11 twelve-year-old girls, and 11 thirteen-year-old girls. I interviewed 3 middle school science teachers who teach at public schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I interviewed 4 composition professors and 2 college biology professors from Rowan University, located in Glassboro, New Jersey. In this thesis, I examine students' and teachers' ideas, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, and theories about writing and writing in the sciences. My findings reinforce the connection between writing and the sciences and the link between middle school experiences and future educational experiences. The conclusion of this thesis are that genre writing can help lead to more positive student attitudes toward writing in the sciences and writing in general.

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