Purdue University Graduate School
Velazquez_Dissertation_FORMATTED.pdf (2.72 MB)

What's the 'Problem' Statement? An Investigation of Problem-based Writing in a First Year Engineering Program

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posted on 2019-05-14, 17:49 authored by Ashley J VelazquezAshley J Velazquez
Upon IRB approval, a corpus of 1,192 texts consisting of three assignments written by a total of 1,736 first year engineering students was compiled, and 117 pedagogical materials were collected. Using an iterative quantitative-qualitative approach to written discourse analysis, instances of formulaic language (4- and 6-word sequences) were identified in the corpus; formulaic language was then coded for the rhetorical functions expected in problem statements as qualitatively identified in the pedagogical materials. Additionally, three discourse-based interviews were conducted with First-year Engineering Faculty. Interview data was coded for themes of effective communication and used to triangulate the findings from the corpus analysis.




Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • English

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Tony Silva, PhD

Additional Committee Member 2

Shelley Staples, PhD

Additional Committee Member 3

Bradley Dilger, PhD

Additional Committee Member 4

Isabel Jimenez-Useche, PhD

Additional Committee Member 5

Margie Berns, PhD