Teacher and Student Perspectives on the Effectiveness of First-Year Composition in Preparing L2 Students for Discipline-Specific Writing

Elena Shvidko


The study described in this article was conducted to gather teachers’ and students’ perspectives about the effectiveness of a first-year composition course in preparing students for discipline-specific writing in college. Data were collected in a large research U.S. university through a student survey (n=32) and teacher interviews (n=5). The results show that the majority of the students and all instructors found the course effective and its assignments helpful in preparing students for writing in their university classes. In addition, all participated instructors also tried to improve the course by employing a variety of approaches and strategies, such as implementing assignments and skills generalizable across the disciplines, emphasizing the connection between general and discipline-specific writing, and encouraging students to do research on topics relevant to their fields of study. The article concludes with the recommendations on how to increase the effectiveness of first-year composition to better prepare students for their academic literacy experiences at the university. 

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