Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Summer 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)



First Advisor

Dr. M. Todd Harper

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Lou Odom


In more than forty years, not much has changed: engaging students remains one of the biggest challenges composition teachers face. Frequently, students are indifferent about assigned topics, and as a result, they are also indifferent about the writing process. Because capturing students’ attention is crucial to teaching them how to write, teachers should design assignments with students’ interests in mind. One of the best ways teachers can encourage students to write about something they care about is to use popular culture, particularly music, as a basis for writing assignments.