The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Rex Veeder

Second Advisor

Judith Kilborn

Keywords and Subject Headings

Composition, Pedagogy, Secondary, English, Language Arts


Self-efficacy research shows students who have strong beliefs about their abilities experience higher achievement and one of the most significant sources of these beliefs is the feedback people receive about their performances. Composition research indicates teachers provide feedback for various reasons, but the most significant motivation is to help students improve as writers. Although research suggests the best way to help students improve is by providing positive feedback and encouragement, many teachers continue to focus their responses on correction and errors. Because the field of positive psychology is mainly concerned with what goes right in life, research in this field can provide insight on improving writing teacher pedagogy. Based on research in optimism, forgiveness, gratitude, and individual strengths, this project explores how positive psychology can support writing teachers' efforts in responding to students' writing more positively and teaching students to think more optimistically.


I would like to thank all of the teachers who encouraged me and took the time to point out my strengths. I would also like to thank my mom, who taught me that I create my own reality through the power of my thoughts. Because of her lessons, my goals are always within my reach.

You are given the gift of the gods; you create your reality according to your beliefs; yours is the creative energy that makes your world; there are no limitations to the self except those you believe in. ~Seth

The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book by Jane Roberts