Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


English Rhetoric and Composition


Isabel Baca


Based on Bowden’s (1993) notion of containment, this study analyzes how containment—as well as other pedagogical restrictions and limitations—was manifested in the high-school-to-college transition of first year student writers. This study addresses the following questions of inquiry: How do participants’ experiences in high school affect them as writers in college?; What practices and strategies do students in the first year composition classroom apply to overcome containment in the college writing classroom?; and, How can instructors use pedagogy to overcome containment? This dissertation applies a qualitative design to gather data via interviews, questionnaires, and classroom observations. Via grounded theory, data gathered for this study was analyzed in three major phases and participants’ contributions were connected to major themes and key words. Findings from the collected data demonstrated various degrees of containment for student writers as they attempted to navigate the college composition classroom in their first semester of college. General recommendations for this study offer how to guide students out of their containment through instructor pedagogy and how instructors can use more creative assignments in the classroom. Finally, recommendations also discuss how to make writing more performative as well as the ways in which pedagogical training could prove beneficial to instructors with no pedagogical background.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

131 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Brenda R. Gallardo