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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Richard Marback


The writers-first principle is an ideological alignment for teaching first-year writing that reclaims expressivist pedagogies and borrows from creative writing studies in order to construct a productive FYW curriculum that regards students as “writers first.” This project not only details, theorizes, and advocates for this creative writing and expressivist approach to FYW instruction, but also models teacherly reflection for writing instructors to conduct, and develop, their own dispositions and guiding principles for FYW instruction that is aligned with their teaching personas. Part auto-ethnography, part narrative, this reflective study celebrates the craft of teaching and makes an argument for revisiting oft-dismissed expressivist scholarship in composition studies.

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