Constructing a model of success for first-year Native American college writers
Komlos, Barbara Zsuzsanna
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The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore Native American students' experiences with writing in the first year of college at a public research university and two tribal colleges, exploring in particular what helped them succeed as writers. Individual interviews with students served as the main sources of data and included self-portraits of the students as writers, re-creations of their writing process through a flow-chart activity, and reflections on graded writing assignments. Interviews with faculty and academic support staff provided further insights. Findings are organized around 10 themes that shed light on students' writing experiences and the factors contributing to their success: (1) Definition of Success, (2) Preparation for College Writing, (3) Self-Concept and Identity, (4) Academic Writing Literacy, (5) Feedback and Self-Concept, (6) Effectiveness of Feedback, (7) Facilitating Revision, (8)Writing Resources, (9) Native Communities, (10) Native Culture. A theoretical model is proposed to explain the factors influencing Native American students' academic writing success in their first year of college. Recommendations for practice and future research are also provided.