Composition across secondary and post-secondary contexts: Cognitive, textual and social dimensions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As a topic of concern to educational researchers, writing is enjoying something of a renaissance, particularly with respect to the transition between secondary and post-secondary levels of schooling. In the context of this renewed interest, this article presents a framework for understanding composition that integrates cognitive, textual and social dimensions. I explore how each of these three dimensions contributes to our understanding of the challenges that student writers face when composing. I also discuss ways in which the increasingly social focus of much research on composition offers new ways of thinking about the cognitive and textual dimensions. Finally, I propose that integrating these dimensions in our study and teaching of composition can help us to better understand and address the challenges that students face in moving across educational contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-327
Number of pages17
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Post-secondary education
  • Secondary education
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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