Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dwight Atkinson

Second Advisor

Tony Silva

Committee Chair

Dwight Atkinson

Committee Co-Chair

Tony Silva

Committee Member 1

Margie Berns

Committee Member 2

April Ginther


This study examines how two Japanese students learning to write in English negotiate the variations in written discourse conventions they encounter in an all-English program at a university in Japan. Textbooks, samples of the students' essays, and written feedback from instructors were analyzed, and interviews were conducted with the students in order to demonstrate the varieties of descriptions and interpretations of written academic introductions the students encountered in their first year of study at the university. Using an approach to learning that draws from ecological theories of composition, alternative approaches to second language acquisition, and actor-network theory, the students' academic enculturation is viewed from the bottom-up, through their local interactions with source materials. Looking at the students interacting with variations in descriptions and interpretations of academic introductions with degrees of alignment to different sources and their own preferences, the learning of academic literacy practices is viewed as more than a linear transfer of knowledge and more as an interactive negotiation of varieties of ways of knowing written discourse conventions that the students encounter over time.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons