High School Preparation
Your students have a varied history of writing and composition instruction. Most are graduates of California public high schools, which makes it likely that their teachers, even in affluent districts, had many demands placed on them. As a result, your students probably did not receive much direct instruction in writing or feedback on their work. In addition, their assignments probably did not require the kind of argumentative or analytical tasks that most university-level assignments do.
For a good discussion about the writing myths that students bring into the college classroom, see “Frequently Asked Questions About First-Year Writing,” at UCWRITE.org, the University of California online writing institute.