An Analysis of the Problem of Writing Skill Transference and Its Implications for Professional Writing Instructors

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Title: An Analysis of the Problem of Writing Skill Transference and Its Implications for Professional Writing Instructors
Author: Ingram, Laura Williams
Advisors: Chris M. Anson, Committee Chair
Abstract: In recent years, both businesses and students have reported a lack of student preparation for writing in the workplace. Many studies have been conducted to examine the transference of skills between settings. However, researchers have found that the differences between the academic and workplace environments complicate the issue of transfer for writers making the transition from college to career and for professional writing instructors hoping to the make the transition easier for their students. In order to better understand the differences in academic and workplace contexts, this thesis critically examines the research conducted in skill transfer over the past two decades. It explores topics like expertise, situated learning, and activity theory from the perspectives of both cognitive science and composition to provide a comprehensive view of the problem of writing skill transfer and thus present pedagogical strategies that might improve transfer of writing skills from college to the workplace. Instructional methods like cognitive apprenticeships that use scaffolding techniques to move students gradually from general writing knowledge to more context-specific writing knowledge may facilitate a smoother transition from academic writing to workplace writing, thereby minimizing the need for on-the-job training.
Date: 2007-07-20
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/569


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