Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of English: English Studies

First Advisor

Bob L. Broad


This thesis offers a look into the perceptions, views, and experiences of first-year composition students into being offered a large amount of choice/agency in their major summative writing projects, but also accountability and guidance during their process in the form of resources called ‘structural assisting metatexts’. The major question that guided this study is the following:

- How do first year composition students use, understand, and value forms of structural assisting metatexts during the writing/creation process?

The two parts of the writing process that were specifically researched in conjunction with their correlating metatexts are the topic selection (with the Proposal metatext) and the peer review phase (with the Writer’s Memo metatext).

Chapter 1 formally defines and shows the two structural assisting metatexts involved in the study and the frameworks in which they have, and in this study’s research gathering, operate in. The core research methodologies and other theories that are compared/contrasted with my own are briefly presented as well.

Chapter 2 goes beyond the scholars that use metatexts, and looks at writings that focus on reader feedback/reflections completed in various educational levels and settings. Additionally, works that consider the unique trait of ‘effort’ and ‘caring’ in education are described. This was included set the reader up for the numerous instances those two words came up in my student participants’ responses.

Chapter 3 offers my own pedagogy in composition classrooms, how it is set up for the beneficial usage of structural assisting metatexts, and the level of involvement of my student participants are described. Beyond the classroom, the two main methodological concepts are justified based on my research question and the purpose of metatexts.

Chapter 4 presents analysis for three of the five most commonly used codes by the student participants. The three, found in this chapter, are grouped together from their relation to the direct socialization between the writer/creator and their reader/audience.

Chapter 5 presents analysis for remaining two of the five most commonly used codes. These two were used by the student participants mainly in a solitary/cognitive nature between writer and the texts they are interacting with.

Chapter 6 presents comparisons and collaborations between the two previously analyzed groups of codes from the gathered data. Afterwards a formal conclusion on the findings as a whole, what I would do differently if further studies of metatexts are conducted, recommendations for other researchers wanting to complete similar studies, and desires for fellow educators wanting to instill structural assisting metatexts, or increased student agency, in their classrooms.


Imported from ProQuest Dundovich_ilstu_0092N_11733.pdf


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