Date of Graduation

Summer 2008


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Kristene Sutliff


Since its origin as a separate discipline in the early 1960s, Composition has been on shaky ground within the academic community. Its methods and results are constantly called into question, especially the use of personal writing as a legitimate form of academic writing. The purpose of this thesis is to show that the composition classroom plays an integral role in the academic maturation of the college student and argues that the personal essay is a vital and effective mode of writing with which to help students discover and hone their own voices of authority, thereby fostering in them a mastery of skills in academic exploration, inquiry and dialogic communication, both oral and written. The author uses as evidence the realization and growth of her own voice as a writer and teacher of writing through the genre of personal essay writing.


composition, personal essay, voice, authority, academic dialogue

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


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