The New Frontier

Writing the First University Level Composition Paper

  • Keshia Mcclantoc University of Montevallo
  • Jennifer Rickel, Mentor University of Montevallo


This research focuses on and explores the processes by which first-year undergraduate students compose their first university composition paper. The first half of this research examines previous case studies done in the field of first time composers, including studies by both Sondra Perl and Janet Emig. The second half of the research revolves around my own case study, which focused specifically on the first composition paper students write in Composition 101 classes. I performed my case study by recruiting and surveying students from a Composition 101 class in University of Montevallo’s College of Arts and Sciences. The survey asked their major and contained a series of nine questions that asked students their opinions regarding the differences between high school and university level writing, the process by which they composed their first paper, and their thoughts on how this composition class either benefitted or disadvantaged them. After receiving the completed surveys I examined and interpreted the responses in comparison to the previous case studies. The responses both mimicked the patterns of the previous case studies and presented new and unique patterns. Overall this research aimed to not only to get an understanding of what has been observed in composition studies so far but also to obtain an understanding of this particular classroom. In doing so, I was able to obtain a better understanding of the compositional processes of this classroom and how these results could influence the continuing process of writing pedagogy.

May 1, 2016
How to Cite
MCCLANTOC, Keshia; RICKEL, MENTOR, Jennifer. The New Frontier. Metamorphosis, [S.l.], may 2016. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 june 2024.