Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Writing and Communication

Advisor

Janine Morris

Committee Member

Molly Scanlon

Abstract

This study examines the incorporation of Twitter in a first-year composition classroom, and addresses the following question: “How can using Twitter as a pedagogical resource to teach writing benefit both students and professors?” The study employs mixed-methods, including surveys, textual analysis of student tweets, and an interview with the professor to assess the application and outcomes of using Twitter. The research finds that although students use social media for a significant amount of time daily, bringing it into the classroom does not automatically lead to better engagement or improved writing. However, students in this study did demonstrate a differentiated used of rhetorical conventions, based on their audience. And, Twitter was instrumental in furnishing real-world writing topics that students chose for themselves, appealing to their interests. This thesis concludes with suggestions for incorporating social media, in general, and Twitter, in particular, into the writing classroom.

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