Rehearsing New Roles: How College Students Develop as Writers

By Lee Ann Carroll
Digitized by the Colorado State University Libraries

CoverIn Rehearsing New Roles: How College Students Develop as Writers, Lee Ann Carroll argues for a developmental perspective to counter the fantasy held by many college faculty that students should, or could, be taught to write once so that ever after, they can write effectively on any topic, any place, any time. Carroll demonstrates in this volume why a one- or two-semester, first-year course in writing cannot meet all the needs of even more experienced writers. She then shows how students' complex literacy skills develop slowly, often idiosyncratically, over the course of their college years, as they choose or are coerced to take on new roles as writers. As evidence, Carroll offers a longitudinal study of a group of students and the literacy environment they experienced in a midsize, independent university. Her study follows the experiences that altered their conception of writing in college and fostered their growing capacities as writers. Carroll's analysis of the data collected supports a limited but still useful role for first-year composition, demonstrates how students do learn to write differently across the curriculum in ways that may or may not be recognized by faculty, and evaluates the teaching and learning practices that promote or constrain students' development.

Publication Information:Carroll, Lee Ann. (2002). Rehearsing New Roles: How College Students Develop as Writers. Studies in Writing and Rhetoric. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Available at

Publication Date: March 15, 2011


Books in this series are presented on the WAC Clearinghouse courtesy of the National Council of Teachers of English. This book can be purchased in print formats from the Southern Illinois University Press online bookstore. To view NCTE's complete catalog of available books, please visit their online book store.

Table of Contents

Open the entire book: 7 MB

Front Matter



1. A Preview of vVriting Development

2. Studying College Writers: Context and Methods

3. Riding the Literacy Roller Coaster in General Education and First-Year Composition

4. Supporting Writing Development Across Disciplines

5. A Concluding Look at Development

Appendix A

Appendix B



About the Author

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