Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




Secondary schools in northern Utah frequently combine literature and composition studies into a single English Language Arts course, limiting the time English teachers have to teach the skills and content important to both. Literature and reading often overshadow writing instruction in this situation, leading to concentrated writing instruction dependent on pre-made writing curriculum and texts. The way curricular materials used during writing instruction in ELA courses present the purpose of writing, the process of writing, and the identity of writers can impact student learning and academic identity in the short- and long-term. A rhetorical analysis, looking specifically at the writing process, the purpose of writing, the identity of writers, types of writing tasks, discourse community created, and presentation of information, of They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, Collections 11, and Ideas & Aims for College Writing was undertaken to determine what curricular materials are teaching students about why they write, how they write, and who a writer is. The analysis revealed writing is framed in these texts as an academic activity done to showcase knowledge, completed in a sequential, step-by-step process, by novice student writers who study, but don't become, "real writers." The implication of these findings is that teachers must mine curricular texts for usable material to supplement writing instruction that is tailored to their students' needs, rather than rely on the texts to present the content. Because these texts can impact student views of writing, teachers must vet their materials and ask important questions of what they use in their classroom.



Faculty Mentor

Jessica Rivera-Mueller

Departmental Honors Advisor

Keri Holt