Currently In Press, Journal of Basic Writing

“Challenging Assumptions about Basic Writers and Corequisites at Four-Year Institutions”

Margaret Weaver, Kailyn Shartel Hall, and Tracey Glaessgen

Despite the push for all institutions of higher learning to embrace a corequisite model for writing instruction, there is limited evidence that suggests this model is desirable for all students. This study seeks to expand our understanding of the characteristics of students enrolled in basic writing at a 4-year comprehensive university, and the reasons why students enroll in either a prerequisite or corequisite writing course. After surveying both prerequisite and corequisite basic writing students, our findings reveal that many who enroll do not fit the description of basic writers in the literature and in Complete College America data, and their reasons for enrolling are diverse. Their responses challenged our assumptions about who our basic writers are, and it became clear that in our program a shift to offering only a corequisite course model would not fit our students’ needs.

Keywords: basic writer, corequisite, survey, student choice, mindset


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