Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Brian J. Fallon, Ph.D.


This dissertation explored the ways faculty report that they use writing in their fashion education courses at a publically funded post-secondary institution. This project also examined faculty beliefs about how writing will equip fashion students for their careers in the professional world. In order to accomplish these research goals, the researcher used a qualitative, single case study methodological approach. Multiple forms of data were collected and analyzed including focus group interviews, in-depth follow-up interviews, and course documents. Relevant literature for the project was drawn from the areas of genre theory, Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC), Writing in the Disciplines (WID), professional writing, and fashion writing. These areas were supported by genre theory, which provided the theoretical framework for the project. This study described what a particular group of fashion merchandising professors do when they teach writing, and it examined the genres they use in teaching as well as how they say they are using these genres. Study results indicate that writing is an important component in preparing students for their entry into the workforce. Writing is used by faculty as a learning tool, as a way to develop critical thinking skills, and through varied assignment types intended to develop student skills and subject matter knowledge. Study results also indicate the transmission of industry specific genres takes place through faculty who gained professional industry experience then became professors in a fashion merchandising program. These faculty members transfer genre specific conventions to their students, preparing them for the workforce.