Date of Award

Summer 6-29-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Secondary Education



Committee Chair

Dr. Darren Crovitz

First Committee Member

Dr. Anete Vasquez

Second Committee Member

Dr. Aaron Levy


Students identifying as “bad writers” is a phenomenon that has persisted throughout my career as an education in both the high school and college setting. The purpose of this study was to look at why first-year composition students self-identify as “bad writers,” and how their lived experiences may have affected their writing confidence and identities. This study utilized a phenomenological methodology, and grounded in sociocultural theory, along with expressivism pedagogy. Findings reveal that while there are commonalities that may exist between the lived experiences of participants, there are numerous reasons that students may begin to self-identify as “bad writers.” This study offers new insight into how lived experiences may affect student writing confidence and identity, as well as how stress, anxiety, and fear of academic writing tasks can cause students to self-identify as “bad writers” as early as middle school.