Fisher, L. M., & Meyers, C. (2017). Determining change in students’ writing apprehension scores in a writing intensive course: a pre-test, post-test design. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(1), 69-84. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2017.01069
Writing skills are one of the most important skills college graduates need to possess; however, college graduates struggle to complete written communications proficiently in the workforce. Previous researchers have explained that college instructors must understand the students’ fears with writing in order to create effective writing curriculum. Writing apprehension has been described as one of the main factors hindering students’ motivation to write and confidence to complete writing responsibilities. In the college setting, negative views toward writing cause low motivation to enroll in writing courses or take the course seriously; ultimately, writing apprehension causes students to not make writing a priority. Using the theoretical framework of self-efficacy, this paper sought to explore how a writing intensive course changed a student’s confidence or belief in their writing skills, and in turn, how the intensive writing course improved their writing apprehension. A two-phase, convergent parallel design mixed methods study was used to determine what change, if any, occurred during the writing intensive course. The findings showed writing apprehension, or avoidance-like attitudes, may be diminished in undergraduate students throughout the duration of a writing intensive course. Recommendations for practitioners and future research are also provided.