Content and Context: The Relationship Between Texts Assigned in First-Year Composition, Student Perception, and Self-Efficacy



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In the field of rhetoric and composition, a lot of attention is rightfully paid to how First- Year Composition (FYC) impacts a writer's development. While rhetoric and composition does not use the same terminology or methods as education, this thesis argues that the two fields do in fact overlap in their thinking of student self-efficacy and student perception. Thus, self-efficacy toward writing would be a useful recontextualization for measuring FYC success. Focusing specifically on the under-researched topic of texts assigned in FYC, this thesis seeks to highlight the relationship between texts, student perception, and self-efficacy toward writing. Rather than draw distinct correlations at this time, three literature reviews on the topics of text modality, student perception, and self-efficacy were used to provide a foundation for how these subjects relate to student success and are worthy of further empirical research. A strong relationship between student perception of texts and self-efficacy was found through the course of these literature reviews, but a significant gap in research on the texts students are asked to write about in FYC was also found. The lack of empirical-driven research into student perception and self-efficacy in FYC classrooms and the lack of theoretical research on self-efficacy toward writing represent a limitation of the current body of rhetoric and composition research that needs to be addressed and expanded upon. Some potential ways in which this future research could be conducted were briefly explored. Overall, it is imperative that any empirical research done on the topic pull from the methodology of both education and rhetoric and composition, as the concepts of self-efficacy toward writing and student perception of text exist in that unique intersection of fields.



Text modality, Multimodality, First-year composition, Student perception, Self-efficacy, English