transfer of skills from freshman compostion to other courses

I am preparing a longitudinal study looking at how, if at all, the knowledge and skills learned in first-year writing transfer to other courses. I am having trouble finding related research. Does anyone have sources to recommend?


Jennie Nelson
Ohio University

My email has been up and down, mostly down, so I have been unable to receive responses from my question posted a week ago. Here it is again:
I am beginning a study of whether the skills and knowledge students learn in first-year writing classes transfer to other classes. I have had trouble finding related research; does anyone have sources or ideas to share?

To get things rolling, here's one source that I think you'll find useful:

Sommers, Nancy, and Laura Saltz. “The Novice as Expert: Writing the Freshman Year.” CCC 56.1 (2004): 124-149.

You can read about the article at its CCC Online page.

You can download the article at NCTE's portal if you're a member. Two sources cited in the article should be particularly helpful:

  • Carroll, Lee Ann. Rehearsing New Roles: How College Students Develop as Writers. Carbondale: SIUP, 2002.
  • Herrington, Anne J., and Marcia Curtis. Persons in Process: Four Stories of Writing and Personal Development in College. Urbana: NCTE, 2000.
  • Sternglass, Marilyn S. Time to Know Them: A Longitudinal Study of Writing and Learning at the College Level. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 1997.

Hope this helps!

I am leading a WID initiative at very large university, and have a long way to go in terms of faculty development and education. Recently a colleague in biology asked me to identfy studies she could point to in a research grant regarding basically best practices, and I just didn't know where to start. Here is her question:

I think I remember your telling me that there is learning literature indicating that continual practice (but not correcting grammar, sentence structure, etc.) is the best way to learn good writing techniques. If this is correct, could you possibly point me to a couple of publications in this area that I could include for my next grant submission?

Do any of you know of a good source or study? I could mention the classics such as Perl, Emig, Sommers, Hillocks, and people on the WAC-L list made suggestions as well. I know we often get asked this sort of question, so I thought others of you might have a better approach than a list of studies we all pretty much take for granted.