Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Kelli Prejean

Second Advisor

Margaret Sullivan

Third Advisor

Mitchell Lilly


The following thesis presents strategies for reading ethically across a series of texts while discussing the emotional labor writers endure throughout their writing processes. By examining the current pedagogical approaches in composition studies, readers of writing can interpret the use of emotion in texts as a rhetorical strategy, while also recognizing instances of its social construction beyond the classroom. Once providing evidence for how writers execute emotion in their work, the thesis continues by discussing how J. Hillis Miller’s theory of ethics is applied to the narrative structure of stories and texts, and how readers can recognize the emotional strategies demonstrated by writers. Finally, after reviewing texts that explore different genres of stories including fiction, fiction based on true events, and nonfiction, the thesis concludes by assessing how effective Suzanne Keen’s theory of narrative empathy is in all three texts. The thesis seeks to scaffold how writers and readers can become mindful toward approaching texts and writing while simultaneously acknowledging how both parties work in tandem to create a combined and individualistic experience for every reader.


English language -- Writing.

Creative writing (Higher education) -- Research.