Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

5-2010

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in English, Rhetoric and Composition

Department

English

Major Advisor

Heidi Estrem, Ph.D.

Abstract

This thesis explores the use of a new rhetorical problem-solving model for writing instruction to create opportunities for abstract thinking and extend the transfer of rhetorical knowledge. The author conducts a qualitative research study on the transfer of rhetorical knowledge by interviewing former students and evaluating their writing samples written in their courses beyond composition. By revisiting the early cognitive writing process research of Linda Flower and John R. Hayes, evaluating the differences between novice and expert writers, and creating corollaries with David Perkins and Gavriel Salomon’s theories on transfer, the author identifies markers for transfer within the rhetorical situation and suggests teaching writing as rhetorical problem solving to extend this transfer to new contexts.

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