Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Eric Dwyer

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Melissa Baralt

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Mido Chang

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to conduct a needs analysis in order to identify the real-world writing tasks that diverse English for Academic Purposes (EAP) learners are required to perform in academic contexts. The study initially uncovered the culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds of EAP learners across three Southeastern state colleges. The study then identified the writing tasks that were being completed in an advanced EAP composition course. Furthermore, the study explored the writing needs of EAP learners with a focus on the participants’ experiences and attitudes about the writing tasks they performed in the composition course. Finally, an analysis was conducted of the real content-level writing tasks that are required of EAP learners across different majors, so a comparison of these tasks could reveal whether the writing tasks completed in the advanced EAP composition course were aligned with those completed across disciplines. Via diverse sources and methods, this study employed semi-structured interviews, short online learner surveys, and written documents. A sample of seven EAP faculty members, three current EAP learners, and three former EAP learners were selected to be part of the semi-structured interview process. The short online learner surveys were distributed to 169 EAP learners who were currently enrolled in the advanced EAP composition course. Regarding the document analysis, 18 faculty members from the EAP programs and 203 from different disciplines shared their course materials for analysis. Results indicated that EAP learners came from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, findings revealed that EAP learners shared positive attitudes about the writing tasks they completed in their advanced EAP composition courses. Finally, findings showed that the writing tasks most often expected of EAP learners in the advanced EAP composition course were personal essays with basic elements of writing. However, very few course documents across disciplines showed that students were assigned essay writings; they were instead assigned complex assignment tasks that included critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Therefore, the findings of this study ultimately indicated that the writing tasks required of EAP learners in the advanced EAP composition course differed from those they were expected to complete across disciplines.





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