Date of Award

1-30-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Nancy M. Hayward, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Mary L. Spencer, Ph.D.

Abstract

In an attempt to forward writing-knowledge research, I explored peer review feedback to profile writing-knowledge. The idea of profiling writing-knowledge is not new to teaching, researching, or assessing writing. As a method to cull writing-knowledge given its absence among established research methodology to profile writing-knowledge, peer review is new. Grounding this exploration in mixed-methods research, I borrowed microethnographic and descriptive research practices to profile writing-knowledge. Using a modified revision workshop model of peer review, participants of this study, who were students enrolled in an undergraduate research writing class at the University of Guam, produced 2,394 feedback data items. Feedback was analyzed following the mixed-methods processes of data reduction and data transformation. Feedback was reduced to alphanumeric codes linked to the writing-knowledge matrix (WKM) designed for this study. The content of the WKM reflects the University of Guam's institutionally defined writing-knowledge taken from its composition courses' learning objectives. Through data reduction, 1,775 data items were assigned a complete WKM alphanumeric code, 203 items assigned a partial WKM code, and 416 data could not be assigned a WKM code. The results show that most feedback submitted reflects institutionally defined writing-knowledge Through the data transformation process, WKM alphanumeric coded data were quantitized as numerical codes in preparation for descriptive statistical analysis. The results reveal that participants' attention to matters of correctness is purposeful: To access sentence-level meaning. The results showed that participants were more concerned about idea development, and secondarily about correctness. When they attended to matters of correctness, they did so because incorrectness interrupted their ability to make meaning. This observation counters preexisting perceptions that students attend to matters of correctness because it is what defines good writing. Additionally, eight WKM domains are reported as primary data concentrations and five as secondary concentrations. Taken together, the results of aggregated data concentrations and descriptive statistical analysis present a collective profile of participants' institutionally defined writing-knowledge as well as a profile of my writing-knowledge.

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