Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Susan Marine


Writing is one of the most influential means of communication utilized in all disciplines across the world. This pragmatic, qualitative study sought to explore students’ perceptions of writing preparedness and success, as well as first-generation students’ transition into college writing. Seven first-generation college students at a small, private, four-year institution located in Massachusetts were interviewed. The findings of this study indicated that for this sample, the transition into college writing was marked by a drastic change in expectations at the postsecondary level. Moreover, students faced challenges regarding writing style, frequency, and research. In order to successfully master college writing, students pursued additional support, including professorial support and writing and research center services. Recommendations for practice include writing introductory courses be restructured, and diagnostic assessment of students be completed in order to appropriately place them. Moreover, higher education institutions should encourage writing through co-curricular activities. Lastly, partnerships between faculty, writing support specialists, and secondary level instructors should be established.