Date of Award

Fall 12-2019

Document Type

Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

English

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Dustin M. Hoffman

Committee Member

Dr. D. Allan Nail

Committee Member

Dr. Devon F. Ralston

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to advance the premise that teachers of writing must write in order to establish their own voice and embrace the risk taking that the process entails. Only then can instructors of writing truly impart that knowledge to help students elevate their writing and motivate them to find their own voice. I will argue that eighth grade teachers who know the craft in this personal way are in a remarkable position to have an effect on students’ writing to prepare them with skills and power of writing they will need in high school, where the stakes are higher as students’ grades and transcripts may affect a choice of college, and beyond, where competence of this life skill matters. Research on the topic, including a review of literature and a survey written and conducted by me under Institutional Review Board standards, will show that despite logic and scholarly studies that advocate that teachers of writing should write, many do not. This essay will assess obstacles instructors face in this area and offer strategies for increased training or finding time and opportunities to write. Suggestions include action research, blogging, low-stakes writing for publication, and learning communities for reflection and collaboration.

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