Graduation Date

Summer 2021

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in English, emphasis in Applied English Studies

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Lisa Tremain

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Marianne Ahokas

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



This project investigates how multimodality is taught and learned in the context of two sections of accelerated first-year composition (English 104) at Humboldt State University. The project sought to ascertain whether multimodality should be included as a learning outcome for the Composition and Rhetoric program by examining the reflective writing of students in both class sections and interviewing both instructors. The reflective writing and interview responses were then coded with responses being sorted into categories corresponding to the writing knowledge concepts that the students and teachers discussed. Those categories included genre, rhetoric, discourse, literacy, and multimodality. Once sorted, the coded excerpts were qualitatively analyzed and the following qualitative correlations were found: that students in Humboldt State’s English 104 classes come to the university with a considerable amount of prior knowledge about writing concepts, including multimodality, that this prior knowledge is tacit, and students lack a vocabulary to describe it, that instructors explicitly teach the other four concepts of genre, rhetoric, discourse, and literacy, that multimodality was not explicitly taught in these two sections of English 104, that students’ tacit knowledge of genre, rhetoric, discourse, and literacy become explicit, nameable knowledge through their participation in English 104, and that multimodality does not. Continued qualitative analysis of teacher interview responses yields reasons as to why multimodality is not explicitly taught and learned in English 104 at HSU and generates suggestions as to how this could be changed so that students leave English 104 with a scholarly, conceptual, and transferable knowledge of multimodality.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location