The Things They Carried: Conceptions of Writing Transfer in Composition Studies
Type of Degreethesis
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This thesis will look at a body of scholarship that dominates both short and long-term case studies of writing and will attempt to understand and identify assumptions that underlie how they are enacted. Through this examination, it will be made clear how definitions coined some twenty years ago by David N. Perkins and Gavriel Salomon have been taken up and continue to influence and shape current research on writing development, specifically that of Anne Beaufort’s College Writing and Beyond and David W. Smit’s The End of Composition Studies. Together, such analyses of Beaufort’s and Smit’s work will explain why we are left with the same discouraging conclusions that transfer is difficult and not always possible. With so much predicated on transfer when analyzing the success of students in their writing and academic careers, highlighting biases and assumptions will help to move beyond those now antiquated terms to view transfer in a new light.