Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Sharon Zumbrunn


Emotions pervade academic situations and influence the ways that learners think, behave, and achieve (Pekrun, 2006; Schutz & Lanehart, 2002). Writing may be a particularly emotion-laden activity, and especially so for students concentrating in fields that value writing production. However, very few studies have quantitatively investigated writers’ emotional experiences. The goal of the current study was to examine the writing-related emotions of graduate students enrolled in writing-intensive disciplines as well as how these emotions related to writers’ daily productivity and attention-regulation behaviors. To do so, the study employed a daily diary design (Gunthert & Wenze, 2012) in which participants completed brief daily surveys over 28 days. Data from a final sample of 183 participants were analyzed in several frameworks, including descriptive statistics, reliable change indices, and longitudinal modeling via generalized estimating equations. Results from these analyses indicate that writers tend to experience positive valence emotions (e.g. enjoyment, pride) more strongly than negative valence emotions (e.g. anxiety, shame) and that, for most of the emotions studied, writers’ emotional states tended to vary considerably from day to day. Furthermore, results indicate that writers’ emotional states are differentially related to daily writing outcomes such as attention regulation, time spent writing, and number of words written, and that state emotions are more predictive of these outcomes than are trait emotions. Theoretical implications and suggestions for future research are also presented.


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