Analysis Of A Stranger In Strange Lands By Lucille Mccarthy

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Lucille Parkinson McCarthy, author of the article, “A Stranger in Strange Lands: A College Student Writing Across the Curriculum”, conducted an experiment that followed one student over a twenty-one month period, through three separate college classes to record his behavioral changes in response to each of the class’s differences in their writing expectations. The purpose was to provide both student and professor a better understanding of the difficulties a student faces while adjusting to the different social and academic settings of each class.
McCarthy chose to enter her study without any sort of hypothesis, therefore allowing herself an opportunity to better understand how each writing assignment related to the class specifically and “what
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Through trial and error, college students are having to figure out what constitutes as acceptable writing for every one of their separate classes all on their own without their ethnic backgrounds taken into consideration. While although Dave was considered privileged because of his years of experience in classrooms that consisted of teachers and students who shared similar social backgrounds, “students from diverse communities may need… teachers in the disciplines… [to] provide them with assignments and instructional support appropriate for first steps in using the language of their community” (262)
McCarthy’s findings contribute to the notion, “learning to write… is not only a developmental process that occurs within an individual student, but also as a social process, that occurs in response to particular situations” (236). Although McCarthy only documents Dave as he takes this “journey across the curriculum”, her study is addressing the college student body as a whole. She declares that the success of a student is determined not only by their intelligence, but also their ability to adapt to a wide range of social and academic settings without any negative interference towards their

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