Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Louise Wetherbee Phelps

Committee Member

Joyce Neff

Committee Member

Paul Prior

Committee Member

Rochelle Rodrigo


This dissertation examines students' composing practices when working with unfamiliar modalities, attending to students' messy material and cognitive negotiations prior to their production of a polished multimodal project. Working from a conceptual vocabulary from composition studies and semiotics, I frame composing as an act of semiotic remediation, attending to students' repurposing and understanding of written and aural materials in composition and their impact on their learning. Specifically, this research uses a grounded theory methodology to examine the attitudes, experiences, and composing practices of first-year writing students enrolled in a composition II course at a private, liberal arts institution in the South who were tasked with revising their writing into–and through–sound editing software to complete an "audio revision project." This study examines the practices and evolving attitudes of seven students using various materials and the impact of their composing process on learning and interpersonal development. Findings from this study are used to develop a body of concepts that work together to theorize about the impact of semiotic remediation on students' composing practices and their learning.


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