Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

Advisor

Haynes, Cynthia

Committee Member

Mazer , Joseph

Committee Member

Barnett , Scot

Abstract

Given the dynamic nature of technology and writing, it is important to understand how students view traditional and multimodal methods of composition. Traditional composition (plain text) is frequently used to complete essays, and multimodal composition (often digital, but otherwise containing multiple media elements) is often used to construct blogs and webpages. As technologies advance, there is more and more opportunity for the overlapping of composition and technology in writing practices. The objective of this study was to examine how students perceive traditional and multimodal composition in terms of their use, perceptions, and preferences. This study used surveys (quantitative) and interviews as well as privileged observation (qualitative) methods to understand students feel about, and use different styles of writing in everyday life and how these perceptions change during the duration of one semester in a multimodal-centric writing curriculum. This study advances notions of composition beyond that of mere writing, to a composition 'composed' of a rich array of media. The data that this study develops is particularly salient to understanding different ways that composition courses can be administered in order to best engage students.

Included in

Communication Commons

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