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Study participant

Study Participant

Study Participant

Study Participant

Study Participant

Study Participant

Study Participant


Student Demographics - Gender, Origin Academics


Stanford Class of 2005

Study of Writing

Total Number 1616 189
Male 50.1% 47.5%
Female 49.9% 47.5%
States Represented 49 33
Most Represented State California, 44% California, 43%
Countries Represented 38 18
HS GPA 3.8+ 84.8% 97%
SAT Verbal over 700 67% 74%
SAT Math over 700 71%

Student Demographics - Race and Ethnic Background

Stanford Class of 2005

Study of Writing Participants




African American 10.3%


Asian American



International 5%


Mexican American



Asian East Indian* Data not collected 4.8%
Native American


Other Hispanic


Other Data not collected


Multiple Ethnicity* Data not collected 14.3%
Unidentified 3.4% 2.6%

Student Majors Graph


In Their Own Words

Quotes from Participants

On College Writing Instruction That Worked (Or Could Have Worked)

"I was always doing writing, [...but] I wish I could have had more constant interaction with a writing teacher, [and peer groups]."

International Relations Major; Law Student

"I would say, for the most part, the smaller classes in which we had to do lots of writing were probably best at preparing me because I do work in small environments where I feel like I know the other people who will be evaluating [my writing]."

Human Biology/Economics Major; Business Analyst

"PWR was terrific in absolutely every way. [The teacher] put in an amazing amount of effort to teach a great course and in particular supported me [as an international student] with great dedication. I thank her for that [and] judge PWR to have been the most significant writing experience although [my Writing in the Major course] obviously has a stronger relation to my econ work now."

Economics Major

"PWR stands out more strongly in my mind as a useful tool [...especially in] judging audiences and adapting in a way that was unique, [...and] getting me used to a thesis and things like that."

Human Biology Major

"So there are moments that are standing out in terms of writing. There's one I remember in PWR working with [the teacher] on the research paper in PWR. I remember that experience as being really important because she went through [my paper] and I've never seen my paper marked up as much. Really, it was covered.not just as a simple editing.but we sat there and stepped through stuff, and she literally taught me how to write a research paper."

African and African American Studies Major

On Graduate Versus Undergraduate Writing

"I guess the majority of the papers that I look back and remember are ones that I felt were very hyper academic papers [in which] you had to figure out how your professor liked you to write. [...In my teacher education program] the actual crafting of the argument is much looser, [...] not as restrained, [...] more open to creativity, in that I am learning how to be a teacher that would be an innovator in the classroom, and someone who would be creating new and different types of lessons off of previous lessons, but adapting and changing [them so as to make] sense to me in the new context."

Drama/Human Biology Major; Graduate Student, Education

On Workplace Versus Undergraduate Writing

"[In the workplace] you don't always get a chance to go back and edit your first thoughts on writing, or good writing. In the past I've been able to go back and reflect on what I'd written, [...and write] many successive drafts. [Now] because of the emphasis on producing a good product from the start, [...] I would put more time up front. [...] You have to be prepared for the work to be seen, not necessarily presented to clients, but certainly reflective of your capability to get stages [done quickly]. So I think that there's a pressure to be writing well from the start and that increases the sense of intimidation or anxiety [about] the idea that you won't be able to finish something or get it into a shape [in a way] you feel comfortable with before you share it."

Human Biology/Economics Major; Business Analyst

"[In the workplace] I'd say that probably about half of our energy goes into framing things in ways that a diverse audience.and I don't mean typical diversity.but just how different people are from one another. [...] I feel like [if] I'm writing to someone who has less time for an interaction that I do, then I tailor my language in a way that I think will make it more immediately accessible to them. [...] I think about the audience and what will move them to action, whereas in college I thought about making people think rather than moving them to action."

Human Biology/Economics Major; Business Analyst

"I sent a letter home [to my elementary students' parents], but I spent a lot of time angsting about how to [...] show enthusiasm but competence, respect but authority in a short letter that also made me very available to all the parents in the classroom. [I tried] presenting myself as someone who came from a very educated background but [who] also wasn't intimidating, [and really worked to write the letter] in Spanish, knowing that I really wasn't capable of doing that on my own, so having one of my friends help me with that. The need of being able to [communicate] ideas in different languages is definitely present in education, and honoring the diversity of different students by being able to communicate in those different languages is definitely a huge priority of mine."

Drama/Human Biology Major; Graduate Student, Education

"[Following graduate school], I guess I'm more relaxed with writing because I think part of it [is because] it's not fun to write when you're really wrapped up in it, and I'm trying to be less of a perfectionist. [...] Of course I'm not completely cured [but I have] an acceptance that it'll never be perfect: you know, you can write it once and it'll be pretty good.or you can write it ten times and it'll be pretty good."

Drama/Human Biology Major; Graduate Student, Education

On Injury

"I wrote this poem a while ago. I miss the freedom of being able to freely sow and freely plant little black seeds of ink. I miss that, just being able to do that. It is kind of like an aching. There is kind of like a loss because all these things, all these emotions, all these memories. I've lost them forever because I haven't been able to somehow engrave them in a place that won't be corroded by time. My memory goes; I forget things. And writing is a form of communication, which is so key to me. [...Writing] bridges worlds and people and relationships, so there are definitely really deep interpersonal level losses and a sense of a kind of abandonment. Losing touch with people, friendships, relationships, family, because you're not able to communicate."

Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity Major; Graduate Student, Education