Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Lisa Meloncon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Norbert Elliot, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Liane Robertson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Gay, Ph.D.


LCS, Pedagogy, Research Methods, WPA, Writing Analytics, Writing Studies


This dissertation proposes that the field of Writing Studies (WS) as well as writing program administrators (WPAs) should integrate quantitative methods into curricular assessment in order to improve pedagogical practices within their curricula. Through the use of the theoretical framework of assemblage theory, a theory that has been underutilized within WS, and the lens of linguistic, cultural, and substantive (LCS) language patterns, this study attempts to identify and understand student writing knowledge circulation and recirculation within one local curriculum. As well, with the incorporation of technological tools such as RAND-Lex, WPAs and WS researchers can identify granular patterns within student writing, leading to a greater understanding of how students (re)circulate writing knowledge across tasks and genres. Additionally, this study finds that there are many micro- and macro-level patterns within the first-year writing (FYW) curriculum sampled. These findings, then, can be applied to the local curriculum in order to revise and improve pedagogical and curricular approaches. Finally, this study provides a methodology that researchers can deploy in order to assess student writing at other local sites in less labor-intensive ways.