Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




This dissertation makes a contribution to composition research by enacting midrange theorizing that weds competent theoretical hypothesizing with practical classroom application;The researcher first establishes narrative blend as a valid theoretical construct. She operationally defines the construct through creation of an instrument for analysis of narrative blend in expository writing. The construct and the instrument which operationally defines it are then used to test assertions made within an experimental curriculum design calling for the transfer of narrative techniques to expository writing (Shaffer, 1979);The following hypotheses were tested within the study: (1) Narrative techniques in expository writing can be identified and delineated along a dimension of increasing sophistication of blend. (2) More students participating in the experimental curriculum will elect to use narrative techniques in their expository writing than will students participating in other curricula. (3) Reversing the narrative and expository components of the experimental curriculum will reduce the incidence of successful blending of narrative techniques in expository writing;Readers analyzed the writing products of students from six sections of introductory college composition classes. They rated six writing assignments for each student from the two experimental sections to measure changes in incidence of narrative blend, as well as the effects of reversing the narrative and expository components of the experimental curriculum. Pre- and posttest writings were used as a basis for comparison with the four control sections;The study substantiated that more students participating in the experimental curriculum used narrative blend in their expository writing than did those students experiencing other curricula. There was no evidence that the increase was dependent upon the sequencing of narrative and expository components within the experimental curriculum;Of tangential concern was the relationship of writing apprehension to use of narrative blend. None of the instructors of either the experimental curriculum or the control groups was successful in lessening the apprehension of students toward writing as measured by the Writing Apprehension Inventory (Daly & Miller, 1975). Comparison of product scores and pre/post inventory scores did not confirm the suspected relationship of lessened writing apprehension to increased use of narrative blend;Daly, J. A., & Miller, M. D. The empirical development of an instrument to measure writing apprehension. Research in the Teaching of English, 1975, 9, 242-249;Shaffer, J. D. Communicating images: A narrative based approach to the process of writing (A curriculum design). Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Drake University, 1979.



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Jane E. Bell



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155 pages