Masters Theses

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Lisa M. King

Committee Members

Jeff M. Ringer, Kirsten F. Benson


This thesis addresses the issue of structure in the composition classroom. In particular, it looks at the history of the five-paragraph essay and the scholarly debate that has surrounded it for more than fifty years. By doing a stasis analysis, the author discovers that scholars have been talking past each other at the level of definition. Based on this finding, the author proposes the development of a new organizational model—the Introduction-Body-Conclusion (IBC) model—by which student can improve their understanding of structure across genres. In addition, by applying the IBC model to the Composition 101 program at the University of Tennessee, the author demonstrates how the IBC model can assist with transfer between genres, including multimodal genres. It does this by acting as a baseline by which students can compare both the similarities and differences among genres.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."