Honors Theses

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Robert Cummings

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

For my thesis I have conducted research in the area of writing skills developed in an undergraduate setting through first-year writing courses. After researching current scholarship on the writing skills of recent business graduates, student athletes, and students who have participated in high school Advanced Placement (AP) programs, I have isolated my research for students in the School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi (UM). Additionally I researched individualized tutoring strategies for each of these groups. I conducted a brief survey using Qualtrics, an online anonymous survey platform. This survey was emailed to 2,000 randomly selected students in the UM School of Business Administration asking about their experiences with first-year writing courses, the curriculum for the School of Business Administration, and their perception of how well prepared they feel for the writing expected of them in their future workplace. My data results showed that most students did feel at least moderately prepared for the writing expected of them in their future workplace based on the writing skills developed during their time as an undergraduate student in the UM School of Business Administration. However, the data also showed no real correlation between high school AP students being more prepared than non-AP students for collegiate writing. Also, AP test scores were not a predictor of higher grades or perception of stronger writing skills. Additionally, the data showed that while students see the benefits of additional taking English or writing courses, they are not willing to take beyond what is already required of their major. The data for student athletes who are members of the UM School of Business Administration was inconclusive because there were so few respondents. From my data I can conclude that despite first-year writing course exemptions, most students in the UM School of Business Administration do feel as though they have received an adequate education in building writing skills necessary for their futures. However, additional writing courses or writing assignments would help show the importance of a strong writing foundation and would only strengthen the skills these students already possess making them more viable hires and employees.

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