This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Redrawing the Maps for the Transfer of Writing Skills and Knowledge




Matthews-Bradshaw, Eunice

Type of Degree





This research examines the case studies of two participants, students at a large land-grant university, as they transfer their knowledge of writing skills and practices across contexts as evidence of the shifting nature of writing. This project proposes that, as many have theorized, the study of writing transfer needs to be longitudinal; simultaneously, the project also puts forth the idea that studies of writing transfer also need to demonstrate an understanding of the variety of transformations writing knowledge undergoes when it is put to use. The findings in this research point to a methodology for analyzing intersections between commonly held concepts about writing transfer and self-efficacy as indicated in interview transcripts; this analysis is then connected to extensive document collection and, when possible, observations, in order to verify patterns in the transcripts. Applying the theoretical underpinnings of de Certeau's "Walking in the City", this the author posits that—just as landscapes and travelers interact upon one another—similarly, are writers continually changed by and changing the shape of writing. As such, this examination of transfer offers up one model for studying transfer that allows for this understanding of mutability and flexibility in the nature of writing and informing theories about transfer. This model should account for a new scope and focus in transfer research that extends beyond a traditional writing course and, as well, beyond typically writing-related majors.