Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Patrick Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Resa Crane Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Bryna Siegel Finer, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Dianne Donnelly, Ph.D.


Because creative writing studies is a developing discipline and research shows that many creative writing faculty are underrepresented in scholarship, this dissertation study aims to explore current pedagogical approaches in American undergraduate creative writing classrooms. To achieve this goal, the researcher collected nearly 70 course syllabi, along with survey data to situate the syllabi, and conducted discourse analyses on the data utilizing NVivo software. As part of the analysis, the software searched for a predetermined list of codes (terms identified as appropriate in the dissertation's pilot study). Additionally, the software identified trends in the data (terms and activities that were commonly used by creative writing faculty). The hypotheses and analysis were based on a dual theoretical framework of (1) acquisition and learning-based pedagogical approaches, and (2) writer-centered teaching. According to the hypothesis, pedagogical approaches that implement both acquisition (practice-based knowledge construction) and learning (theoretical analysis of the process of knowledge construction) should be the preferred approaches among creative writing faculty. Additionally, creative writing pedagogy should focus on students' unique goals and interests with both reading and writing. Based on the data collected and the initial hypothesis, the researcher called for changes in approaches to creative writing studies research and presented several ideal teaching practices and theoretical foundations for these practices.