Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Martin Bickman

Second Advisor

John-Michael Rivera

Third Advisor

Adam F. Bradley

Fourth Advisor

Rurh E. Kocher


Annie Dillard reconstructs her own learning process in her students, and this can only be successful through a singular act of dedication on the part of each student. The students do by instruction what Dillard figured out on her own. They analyze texts on the macro and micro levels—they outline books, chapters, paragraphs, and sentences in order to study their structures; they study the ways different authors handle character or setting or transitional sentences. Word by word, they learn the DNA of literature in order to understand what makes it work. It is only after this immersion in literature and research that the writer, through painstaking effort and dozens of drafts, can produce something an educated and well-read audience will take an interest in.