Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Amanda Sladek

Committee Members

Tiffani Luethke, Janet Graham, Susan Honeyman


Composition;Higher education;Secondary education;Transfer theory;Writing;Writing knowledge transfer


Writing knowledge transfer is a cognitive practice where students apply skills gained in the composition classroom to other contexts, such as different disciplinary fields. While transfer sounds natural in theory, students often struggle to establish such connections independently, raising the question of how educators might promote successful transfer in their instructional practices. Especially with the transition to college, students tend to have difficulties linking the crucial skills presented in their high school English classes to other writing situations. While high school and college instructors may have different curricular constraints, the shared practice of providing feedback is one potential avenue that could support knowledge transfer. To explore this phenomenon, I interviewed six educators from both the secondary and postsecondary levels about their respective teaching practices. I asked the subjects what they knew about writing knowledge transfer theory and how feedback is used in their classrooms. Using a phenomenological approach, I transcribed and coded the interviews to identify overarching patterns across the practices employed by both high school and college instructors. The results showed a strong relationship between the method of feedback and the potential for successful writing knowledge transfer. In addition, the findings of this research also suggest that educators from high schools and colleges may need further training on knowledge transfer theory in order to better support student writing across disciplines.



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