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In an effort to identify effective instructional practices for teaching writing to elementary grade students, we conducted a meta-analysis of the writing intervention literature, focusing our efforts on true and quasi-experiments. We located 115 documents that included the statistics for computing an effect size (ES). We calculated an average weighted ES for 13 writing interventions. To be included in the analysis, a writing intervention had to be tested in 4 studies. Six writing interventions involved explicitly teaching writing processes, skills, or knowledge. All but 1 of these interventions (grammar instruction) produced a statistically significant effect: strategy instruction (ES 􏱘 1.02), adding self-regulation to strategy instruction (ES 􏱘 0.50), text structure instruction (ES 􏱘 0.59), creativity/imagery instruction (ES 􏱘 0.70), and teaching transcription skills (ES 􏱘 0.55). Four writing interventions involved procedures for scaffolding or supporting students’ writing. Each of these interventions produced statistically significant effects: prewriting activities (ES 􏱘 0.54), peer assistance when writing (ES 􏱘 0.89), product goals (ES 􏱘 0.76), and assessing writing (0.42). We also found that word processing (ES 􏱘 0.47), extra writing (ES 􏱘 0.30), and comprehensive writing programs (ES 􏱘 0.42) resulted in a statistically significant improvement in the quality of students’ writing. Moderator analyses revealed that the self-regulated strategy development model (ES 􏱘 1.17) and process approach to writing instruction (ES 􏱘 0.40) improved how well students wrote.
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Journal of Educational Psychology
A Meta-Analysis of Writing Instruction for Students in the
Elementary Grades
Steve Graham, Debra McKeown, Sharlene Kiuhara, and Karen R. Harris
Online First Publication, July 9, 2012. doi: 10.1037/a0029185
CITATION
Graham, S., McKeown, D., Kiuhara, S., & Harris, K. R. (2012, July 9). A Meta-Analysis of
Writing Instruction for Students in the Elementary Grades. Journal of Educational
Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0029185
A Meta-Analysis of Writing Instruction for Students
in the Elementary Grades
Steve Graham
Arizona State University
Debra McKeown
Georgia State University
Sharlene Kiuhara
Westminister College
Karen R. Harris
Arizona State University
In an effort to identify effective instructional practices for teaching writing to elementary grade students,
we conducted a meta-analysis of the writing intervention literature, focusing our efforts on true and
quasi-experiments. We located 115 documents that included the statistics for computing an effect size
(ES). We calculated an average weighted ES for 13 writing interventions. To be included in the analysis,
a writing intervention had to be tested in 4 studies. Six writing interventions involved explicitly teaching
writing processes, skills, or knowledge. All but 1 of these interventions (grammar instruction) produced
a statistically significant effect: strategy instruction (ES 1.02), adding self-regulation to strategy
instruction (ES 0.50), text structure instruction (ES 0.59), creativity/imagery instruction (ES
0.70), and teaching transcription skills (ES 0.55). Four writing interventions involved procedures for
scaffolding or supporting students’ writing. Each of these interventions produced statistically significant
effects: prewriting activities (ES 0.54), peer assistance when writing (ES 0.89), product goals (ES
0.76), and assessing writing (0.42). We also found that word processing (ES 0.47), extra writing (ES
0.30), and comprehensive writing programs (ES 0.42) resulted in a statistically significant improve-
ment in the quality of students’ writing. Moderator analyses revealed that the self-regulated strategy
development model (ES 1.17) and process approach to writing instruction (ES 0.40) improved how
well students wrote.
Keywords: writing, composition, meta-analysis, instruction, elementary grades
Supplemental materials: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029185.supp
The development of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS;
National Governors Association & Council of Chief School Offi-
cers, 2010) has made writing and the teaching of writing an
integral part of the school reform movement in the United States
(Graham, in press). Learning how to write and using writing as a
tool for learning received considerable emphasis in CCSS. This
document provided benchmarks for a variety of writing skills and
applications students are expected to master at each grade and
across grades. In the elementary grades, this includes spelling,
handwriting, typing, sentence construction (including grammar
skills), and strategies for planning and revising. It also includes
writing different types of text (persuasive, narrative, and informa-
tive), writing for different purposes (facilitate text comprehension
and content learning), and using technology to support writing. If
elementary grade teachers are to meet CCSS for writing, they need
effective instructional tools.
Purpose of the Current Review
A useful approach for identifying instructional practices that
have the power to transform students’ writing is to conduct sys-
tematic reviews of writing intervention research. The systematic
approach we applied in this review is meta-analysis. This method
of review is used to summarize the magnitude and directions of the
effects obtained in a set of empirical research studies (Lipsey &
Wilson, 2001). In this article, we present a comprehensive meta-
analysis of experimental and quasi-experimental writing studies
conducted with elementary grade students. The purpose of this
review was to identify effective practices for teaching writing to
these children. Meta-analysis is well suited to this purpose, as it
provides an estimate of a “treatment’s effect under conditions that
typify studies in the literature” (Bangert-Drowns, Hurley, &
Wilkinson, 2004, p. 34).
A review identifying effective writing practices at the elemen-
tary level is needed for three reasons. First, studies of teachers’
Steve Graham, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State Uni-
versity; Debra McKeown, School of Education, Georgia State University;
Sharlene Kiuhara, School of Education, Westminster College; Karen R.
Harris, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University.
Steve Graham and Karen R. Harris are authors of some of the studies
reviewed in this meta-analysis. Harris developed the self-regulated strategy
development (SRSD) model tested in 14 studies included in the review, and
Harris and Graham developed a number of the strategies used in the SRSD
studies. The lesson plans and instructional procedures used in SRSD
studies are published in two books for teachers. Graham and Harris are
authors of these two books.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Steve
Graham. E-mail: steve.graham@asu.edu
THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CORRECTED. SEE LAST PAGE
Journal of Educational Psychology © 2012 American Psychological Association
2012, Vol. 00, No. 00, 000– 000 0022-0663/12/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0029185
1
practices have raised serious concerns about the quality of writing
instruction received by students in the elementary grades (e.g.,
Fisher & Hebert, 1990; Gilbert & Graham, 2010). Thus, it is
important to identify writing treatments with evidence of effec-
tiveness, as this provides elementary teachers with instructional
practices that can potentially improve the quality of their instruc-
tion and their students’ writing. Second, there is a growing con-
sensus that waiting until later grades to address literacy problems
that have their origin in earlier grades is not successful (Slavin,
Madden, & Karweit, 1989). Applying evidence-based writing
practices with elementary grade students should reduce the number
of youths who reach middle school and do not write well enough
to meet grade-level demands (Harris, Graham, & Mason, 2006).
Third, there is no comprehensive meta-analysis of writing treat-
ments conducted just with elementary grade students.
Previous Meta-Analyses in Writing
During the last 30 years, researchers have undertaken a number
of meta-analyses of true and quasi-experiments to identify effec-
tive practices for writing instruction. Some of these reviews fo-
cused on a single writing treatment, finding that teaching strategies
for planning or revising (Graham, 2006a; Graham & Harris, 2003),
word processing (Bangert-Drowns, 1993; Goldberg, Russell, &
Cook, 2003; Morphy & Graham, 2012), and the process approach
to writing (Graham & Sandmel, 2011) improved the overall quality
of text produced by typical and, in most cases, struggling writers.
Other reviews focused more broadly, examining the effectiveness
of multiple writing treatments at specific grades. Hillocks (1986)
conducted a review of writing interventions with students in Grade
3 through college, whereas Graham and Perin (2007a, 2007c)
limited their review to writing treatments applied in Grades 4 –12.
Although the meta-analyses conducted by Hillocks (1986) and
Graham and Perin (2007a, 2007c) were conducted almost 20 years
apart and differed somewhat in terms of grade level, there was
some overlap in their findings. In both reviews grammar instruc-
tion was ineffective in improving writing, but sentence-combining
instruction, study and emulation of good models of writing, and
inquiry activities improved the quality of students’ writing. Hill-
ocks also found that students’ writing improved when they eval-
uated writing using a writing guide or scale, whereas Graham and
Perin reported that the process approach to writing instruction,
strategy instruction, summarization, prewriting activities, peer as-
sistance, setting product goals, and word processing positively
enhanced the quality of students’ writing.
The current meta-analysis has the greatest overlap with Graham
and Perin’s (2007a, 2007c) review. They conducted a meta-
analysis of writing treatments tested with true and quasi-
experiments with students in Grades 4 –12. Their outcome measure
was writing quality, and studies were only included in the analysis
if quality was reliably measured. They excluded studies conducted
in special schools for students with disabilities (e.g., schools for
the deaf). Finally, they only calculated an average weighted effect
size (ES) for a writing treatment if it had been tested in four
investigations. This meta-analysis applied these same principles,
except it did not include studies conducted with middle and high
school students. Despite these similarities, there was only modest
overlap in the studies included in this review and the one by
Graham and Perin (35 of 115 articles, or 30%).
A second difference between this and the Graham and Perin
(2007a, 2007c) review was that quasi-experiments had to assess
writing quality at pretest to be included in this meta-analysis, since
students were not randomly assigned to conditions (allowing us to
adjust for any pretest differences). A third difference was that
effects from all quasi-experiments in this review were adjusted for
possible data clustering due to hierarchical nesting of data (i.e.,
researchers assigned classes to treatment or control conditions but
then examined student-level effects).
In summary, the primary research question guiding this review
was, What writing treatments improve the quality of writing pro-
duced by students in the elementary grades? The findings from this
meta-analysis have important theoretical implications for writing
development. Drawing on a general model of development pro-
posed by Alexander (1997), Graham (2006b) argued that writing
strategies, knowledge, skills, and motivation play an important role
in students’ growth as writers. This meta-analysis provides evi-
dence on the veracity of this claim, at least in part, as some of the
treatments evaluated are specifically designed to improve writing
strategies, knowledge, or skills. If a treatment designed to enhance
knowledge of text structure, for example, improves writing quality,
then the theoretical role of knowledge in writing development is
supported.
Method
Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
A study had to meet the following criteria to be included in this
meta-analysis: (a) was a true experiment (random assignment to
conditions) or a quasi-experiment, (b) involved students who were
attending an elementary school (in some studies elementary
schools included students in Grades 1–5, whereas in other studies
elementary schools included Grade 6), (c) contained a treatment
group that received a writing intervention, (d) included a measure
of writing quality at posttest (quasi-experiments had to include a
comparable pretest quality measure, and studies were excluded if
interrater reliability of quality was not established or was less than
.60), (e) was presented in English, and (f) contained the statistics
necessary to compute a weighted ES (or statistics were obtained
from the authors). Studies were excluded if the writing treatment
took place in a special school for students with disabilities (e.g.,
school for the deaf), as the purpose of the review was to draw
conclusions for more typical school settings.
Search Strategies Used to Locate Studies
Four search strategies were applied. First, 95 electronic searches
(ending in October 2010) were conducted (ERIC, PsycINFO,
Education Abstracts, ProQuest, and Dissertation Abstracts). These
involved the following keywords combined with writing and com-
position: peer collaboration,peer revising,peer planning,peers,
summary,summary instruction,summary strategies,motivation,
motivation and instruction,technology,speech synthesis,spell
checkers,strategy instruction,sentence combining,dictation,goal
setting,genre,free writing,writer’s workshop,process writing,
process approach,self-monitoring,self-evaluation,national writ-
ing project,assessment,evaluative scales,usage,imagery,cre-
ativity,mechanics,grammar,inquiry,models,collaborative learn-
2GRAHAM, MCKEOWN, KIUHARE, AND HARRIS
ing,spelling instruction,handwriting instruction,word
processing,word processor. Over 12,000 abstract and titles were
identified. Each was read by the first author, and if the item looked
promising, it was obtained.
Second, the following 18 journals were hand searched: Ameri-
can Educational Research Journal,Assessing Writing,Contempo-
rary Educational Psychology,Elementary School Journal,Excep-
tional Children,Journal of Educational Psychology,Journal of
Educational Research,Journal of Experimental Education,Jour-
nal of Learning Disabilities,Journal of Literacy,Journal of Spe-
cial Education,Learning Disability Quarterly,Learning Disabil-
ities Research and Practice,Reading and Writing,Reading and
Writing Quarterly,Reading Research Quarterly,Research in the
Teaching of Writing, and Written Communication. Third, pertinent
references from previous writing meta-analyses (i.e., Bangert-
Drowns, 1993; Goldberg et al., 2003; Graham, 2006a; Graham &
Harris, 2003; Graham & Hebert, 2010; Graham & Perin, 2007c;
Graham & Sandmel, 2011; Hillocks, 1986; Morphy & Graham,
2012) were examined. Fourth, reference lists of obtained articles
were searched.
Of 424 documents collected, 115 articles were found that met
inclusion and exclusion criteria. The interrater reliabilities of the
quality writing measures in the studies included in this meta-
analysis were generally strong. Correlations between two or more
raters’ scores were used to calculate reliability in 68% of studies,
with a median reliability of .86 and a range of .62–.97 (reliability
was .80 or greater in 88% of studies, and reliability was in the .60s
in only two studies). Percent of exact agreement was applied in
22% of studies, with a median of 90% agreement and a range of
70%–97% (reliability was 80% or greater in 89% of studies).
Seven percent of studies used percent of agreement within a single
point to calculate reliability, with a median of 96.5% and a range
of 80%–100% (all but one study was above 90%). Finally, three
studies calculated coefficient alphas, with a median coefficient of
.92 and a range of .76 –.93.
Categorizing Studies Into Treatment Conditions
Step 1. First, each study was read by the first author and
placed (if possible) into one of the 14 writing treatment categories
identified by Graham and Perin (2007a). This included the process
approach to writing instruction defined as involving extended
opportunities for writing; writing for real audiences; engaging in
cycles of planning, translating, and reviewing; personal responsi-
bility and ownership of writing projects; high levels of student
interactions; creation of a supportive writing environment; self-
reflection and evaluation; personalized individual assistance and
instruction; and in some instances more systematic instruction.
Categorization also included four treatments where explicit teach-
ing of skills, process, or knowledge occurred. These were grammar
instruction (e.g., students systematically studied parts of speech,
diagrammed sentences, and so forth), sentence combining (stu-
dents were taught to construct more complex sentences through
exercises where two or more basic sentences are combined into a
single sentence), strategy instruction (the teacher modeled how to
use specific strategies for planning, revising, and/or editing text;
students practiced applying the target strategies in at least three
sessions, with the goal of using these strategies independently),
and text structure instruction (students taught knowledge about the
structure of specific types of text, such as stories or persuasive
essays).
There were seven categories that studies were placed in that
involved procedures for scaffolding students’ writing: prewriting
activities (students engaged in activities, like using a semantic
web, to generate or organize ideas for their papers), inquiry (stu-
dents engaged in activities to develop ideas for a particular writing
task by analyzing immediate and concrete data), procedural facil-
itation (students were provided with external supports, such as
prompts or hints, to facilitate one or more processes such as
planning or revising), peer assistance (students worked together to
plan, draft, and/or revise their papers), study of models (students
examined examples of specific types of text and attempted to
emulate the forms in these examples in their own writing), product
goals (students were assigned specific goals for writing), and
feedback (students received input from others about their written
product).
The final two placement categories were word processing (stu-
dents used word processing programs to compose their composi-
tions) and extra writing time (students spent additional time writ-
ing). Studies that did not fit neatly within one of these 14
categories were held apart. These studies were group together in
what we referred to as an unspecified category.
Step 2. The studies placed in the 14 treatments were reread by
the first author to determine whether the intervention in each
investigation represented the same general writing treatment. For
any study in which this was not the case, it was placed in the
unspecified category.
Step 3. Studies placed in the unspecified category were
reexamined by the first author, and five new treatment categories
were created. They were teaching transcription skills (students
were taught handwriting, spelling, or keyboarding), adding self-
regulation instruction to strategy instruction (students were taught
to apply goal setting and self-assessment as part of strategy in-
struction), imagery/creativity instruction (students taught how to
form images or how to be more creative), assessing writing (stu-
dents received feedback from peers, the teacher, or other adults
about their writing, and students were taught to assess their own
writing), and comprehensive writing programs (writing treatments
designed to serve as a complete writing program). Studies in the
feedback category and the process approach to writing instruction
category (see Step 1) were included in assessing writing and
comprehensive writing programs, respectively. At this point, there
were 17 writing treatments.
Step 4. The final step involved eliminating any treatment
category where we were unable to calculate at least four or more
effects testing its effectiveness (this was identical to the procedures
applied by Graham & Perin, 2007c). This resulted in the elimina-
tion of four treatments: sentence combining, inquiry, procedural
facilitation, and study of models. This left us with 13 writing
treatments with four or more effects testing their effectiveness.
Reliability of this categorization process was established by
having the second and third authors read and categorize all studies.
There were only two disagreements with the first author. It should
be noted that we decided to use a monothetic (mutually exclusive)
rather than a polythetic classification scheme for two reasons: (a)
most of the studies involved specific, well-defined interventions,
and (b) previous attempts to use a polythetic approach to classi-
fying writing interventions (e.g., Hillocks, 1986) have been criti-
3
ELEMENTARY META-ANALYSIS
cized for trying to force broader schemes, such as natural or
environmental teaching approaches, on a literature that is difficult
to classify in this way (Stotsky, 1988).
Coding of Study Features
Each study was coded for grade, participant type (e.g., strug-
gling writers, English Language learners, etc.), genre of the post-
test measure, description of treatment and control conditions, and
publication type. Nine quality indicators were also coded: (a)
design (random assignment with the appropriate unit of analysis;
i.e., true experiment); (b) treatment fidelity was established
through direct observation; (c) teacher effects controlled (e.g.,
random assignment of teachers); (d) more than a single teacher
carried out each condition; (e) total attrition was less than 10% of
total sample; (f) total attrition was less than 10%, and equal
attrition across conditions was evident (i.e., conditions did not
differ by more than 5%); (g) pretest equivalence of writing quality
was evident in quasi-experiments (i.e., conditions did not differ by
more than 1 standard deviation for the condition with the least
variance); (h) pretest ceiling or floor effects were not evident for
writing quality in quasi-experiments (more than 1 standard devi-
ation from floor and ceiling); and (i) posttest ceiling or floor
effects for writing quality were not evident (more than 1 standard
deviation from floor and ceiling). Each quality indicator was
scored as 1 (met) or 0 (not met). A total score was calculated for
each study (7 possible points for true experiments and 9 possible
points for quasi-experiments). This was converted to a percentage
by dividing obtained score by total possible points and multiplying
by 100%. Coding for study descriptors and quality indicators were
independently completed by the second and third authors (96.2%
agreement). Disagreements were resolved by reexamining the
study.
Calculation of ESs and Statistical Analysis
Basic procedures. ESs were calculated just for writing qual-
ity. If a holistic quality measure (a single score that measures
general overall quality) was available, then the ES was calculated
with this score. If only an analytic quality measure (separate scores
for specific aspects of writing, such as content, organization,
vocabulary, mechanics, and so forth) was available, a separate ES
was computed for each aspect of writing assessed and averaged to
produce a single ES. We converted analytic quality measures to a
single score because halo effects (the separate scores are moder-
ately to highly related and are best captured through a single,
general factor) are evident in studies examining the reliability and
validity of analytic measures (see Graham, Hebert, & Harris,
2011). We computed an ES for norm-referenced outcome mea-
sures only if they assessed quality or structure of a sample of
students’ writing.
An ES was calculated for true experiments by subtracting the
mean score of the treatment group at posttest from the mean score
of the control group at posttest and dividing by the pooled standard
deviation of the two groups. The same procedure was used with
quasi-experiments, except the mean pretest score for each group
was subtracted from the mean posttest score.
In some cases, ESs had to be calculated by estimating missing
means and standard deviations. For a few quasi-experiments, ESs
had to be calculated separately for both pretest and posttest (the
quality measures were not identical). An adjusted ES was then
obtained by subtracting pretest ES from posttest ES. Moreover,
before calculating some ESs, it was necessary to average the
performance of two or more groups in each condition (e.g., statis-
tics were reported separately by grade) using the Nouri and Green-
berg procedure (Cortina & Nouri, 2000).
All quasi-experiments where classes were assigned to treatment
conditions, but student-level effects were examined, were adjusted
for clustering effects with imputed intraclass correlation (ICC)
estimates for reading comprehension from national studies
(Hedges & Hedberg, 2007) that were adjusted to writing quality
ICCs, with data from a large study of writing that involved a single
grade level (Rock, 2007). In addition, it was necessary to adjust the
effects for three true experiments (Glaser, Buddle, & Brunstein,
2011; Jones, 2004; Norris, Reichard, & Mokhtari, 1997) that
involved cluster randomized assignment (classes were randomly
assigned to treatments, and summary statistics were based on
class-level data) with the imputed ICCs described above. All
computed effects were adjusted for small sample size bias.
Statistical analysis. This meta-analysis employed a weighted
random-effects model. For each writing treatment, we calculated
an average weighted ES (weighted by multiplying each ES by its
inverse variance) as well as the confidence interval and statistical
significance of the obtained ES. Two measures of homogeneity (Q
and I
2
) were also calculated, allowing us to determine whether
variability in the ESs for a specific writing treatment was larger
than expected based on sampling error alone. When homogeneity
in ESs for a specific writing treatment exceeded sampling error
alone, there were at least eight ESs,and each treatment subcate-
gory tested involved at least four effects, we conducted moderator
analysis to determine whether this excess variability could be
accounted for by identifiable differences between studies (e.g.,
participant type).
Finally, the ESs for each writing treatment were examined to see
whether any specific ES was exerting undue influence in terms of
sample size or magnitude of ES. Outliers were defined with
Tukey’s (1977) definition of an extreme observation as falling 3
times the interquartile range above the 75th percentile or below the
25th percentile of the distribution of all related scores. Three
effects (Kozlow & Bellamy, 2004; Pritchard & Marshall, 1994;
A. L. Thibodeau, 1964) exerted undue influence due to sample size
and were Winsorized so that they did not exceed Tukey’s defini-
tion.
Results
Table 1 contains information on the studies testing each writing
treatment. A more detailed version of Table 1 that includes addi-
tional information on the treatment and control condition in each
study, genre tested at posttest, sample size of the study, publication
type, and study quality score is contained in the supplemental
materials. Table 2 includes the number of studies, average
weighted ES, confidence interval, standard error, and statistical
significance for each writing treatment as well the two heteroge-
neity measures (Qand I
2
).
4GRAHAM, MCKEOWN, KIUHARE, AND HARRIS
Table 1
Information on Individual Studies for Writing Treatments That Included Four or More
Effect Sizes
Study Grade Participant type Effect size
Strategy instruction
Harris et al. (2006)
a
SRSD 2 FR 1.89
Harris et al. (2011) SRSD 2–3 SW 1.11
Harris & Graham (2004)
a
SRSD 2–3 SW 0.67
Lane et al. (in press)
a
SRSD 2–3 SW 0.68
Graham et al. (2005)
a
SRSD 3 SW 1.78
Tracy et al. (2009) SRSD 3 FR 0.25
Curry (1997) SRSD 4 SW 0.57
Glaser et al. (2011)
a
SRSD 4 FR 1.31
Glaser & Brunstein (2007) SRSD 4 FR 1.19
Walser (2000)
a
4 FR 0.67
Warrington (1999) 4 FR 0.52
Englert et al. (1991) 4–5 FR, SW 0.51
Troia & Graham (2002)
a
4–5 SW 0.83
MacArthur et al. (1991) SRSD 4–6 SW 1.26
Anderson (1997)
a
SRSD 5 FR, SW 1.49
Sawyer et al. (1992) SRSD 5–6 SW 0.63
Torrance et al. (2007) SRSD 6 FR 3.19
Fitzgerald & Markham (1987)
a
6 FR 0.31
Welch (1992) 6 SW 1.72
Wong et al. (2008) SRSD 6 AVG 0.64
Adding self-regulation to strategy instruction
Harris et al. (2006)
a
2 SW 0.32
Graham et al. (2005)
a
3 SW 0.13
Kurtz (1987) 3–6 SW 1.09
Brunstein & Glaser (2011)
a
4 FR 0.86
Glaser & Brunstein (2007) 4 FR 0.87
Sawyer et al. (1992) 5–6 SW 0.02
Text structure instruction
Carr et al. (1991) 2 FR 0.94
Sinclair (2005) 3 FR 0.33
Riley (1997) 3–5 FR 0.32
Fitzgerald & Teasley (1986)
a
4 SW 0.17
Kaminski (1994) 4 FR 0.13
Gambrell & Chasen (1991)
a
4–5 SW 0.90
Gordon & Braun (1986)
a
5 FR 0.71
Raphael et al. (1986) 5–6 FR 0.34
Crowhurst (1991)
a
6 FR 0.74
Creativity/imagery instruction
Jampole et al. (1991)
a
3–4 HA 0.82
Fortner (1986) 3–6 SW 0.83
Jampole et al. (1994)
a
4–5 HA 0.84
Stoddard (1982) 5–6 HA 0.23
Teaching transcription skills
Graham et al. (2000)
a
1 SW 0.54
Graham & Harris (2005)
a
1 SW 0.21
Jones (2004) 1 FR 1.00
Jones & Christensen (1999) 1 SW 2.40
Rutberg (1998) 1 SW 0.12
Graham et al. (2002)
a
2SW 0.12
Berninger et al. (2002)
a
3 SW 0.35
Shorter (2001) 3 FR 0.38
Grammar instruction
Green (1991) 3 BLL 0.47
Anderson (1997)
a
5 FR, SW 1.49
Pantier (1999) 5 FR 0.21
A. E. Thibodeau (1964) 6 FR 0.38
(table continues)
5
ELEMENTARY META-ANALYSIS
Table 1 (continued)
Study Grade Participant type Effect size
Prewriting activities
B. H. Moore & Cadwell (1993)
a
2–3 FR 0.88
Norris et al. (1997)
a
3 FR 0.56
Kurtz (1987) 3–6 SWD 0.87
Loader (1989) 4 FR 0.44
McNulty (1980) 4 FR 0.43
Doan (2008)
a
4–5 FR 0.37
Reece & Cumming (1996)
a
5–6 FR 0.86
A. L. Thibodeau (1964) 6 FR 0.38
Peer assistance
Paquette (2009) 2 FR 0.70
MacArthur et al. (1995) 4–6 SWD 1.33
Yarrow & Topping (2001) 5–6 FR 0.76
Olson (1990) 6 FR 0.67
Product goals
Graham & Harris (2006)
a
4 SW 0.28
Ferretti et al. (2009)
a
4–6 FR, SW 1.11
Ferretti et al. (2000)
a
4–6 FR, SW 0.35
Schunk & Swartz (1993a, Experiment 2)
a
4 FR 1.08
Midgette et al. (2008)
a
5 FR 0.58
Schunk & Swartz (1993a, Experiment 1)
a
5 FR 1.49
Graham et al. (1995)
a
5–6 SW 0.75
Assessing writing
Paquette (2009) 2 FR 0.02
Rosenthal (2006) 3 FR 0.23
Collopy (2008) 4 FR 0.01
Guastello (2001) 4 FR 1.12
Schunk & Swartz (1993b)
a
4 HA 0.92
Schunk & Swartz (1993a, Experiment 1)
a
5 FR 0.67
Schunk & Swartz (1993a, Experiment 2)
a
4 FR 0.83
Young (2000) 4 FR 0.82
Meyer et al. (2010) 4–6 FR 0.29
Ross et al. (1999) 4–6 FR 0.17
Holliway (2004)
a
5 FR 0.58
Olson (1990) 6 FR 0.24
Wolter (1975)
a
6 FR 0.70
Kozlow & Bellamy (2004)
a
3–6 FR 0.10
Word processing
Lanter et al. (1987) 1, 3, 6 FR 0.65
Pearce-Burrows (1991) 3–4 FR 0.44
Owston & Wideman (1997) 3–5 FR 0.71
Zhang et al. (1995)
a
3–5 SW 1.05
Stewart (1999) 4 AVG 0.30
Cheever (1987) 4 FR 0.36
M. A. Moore & Turner (1988) 4–5 FR 0.43
Dybdahl et al. (1997) 5 FR 0.32
Grejda & Hannafin (1992)
a
6 FR 0.45
Englert et al. (2007) NS SW 1.46
Extra writing
Peters (1991) 2 FR 0.33
Soundy (1987)
a
3–6 FR 0.34
Gomez et al. (1996) 5 ELL 0.23
Raphael et al. (1986) 5–6 FR 0.69
Wienke (1981) 6 FR 0.35
Comprehensive writing programs
Klesius et al. (1991) 1 FR 0.15
Croes (1990)
b
1–5 SW 0.34
Eads (1989)
b
1–6 FR 0.27
(table continues)
6GRAHAM, MCKEOWN, KIUHARE, AND HARRIS
Quality of Research
Information for each writing treatment for study quality by each
quality indicator is available in the supplemental materials. Across all
studies, the quality of research was weak, as only 36% of studies were
a true experiment, just 29% of studies established treatment fidelity,
and only 37% of the investigations controlled for teacher effects. On
the positive side, 63% of studies involved multiple teachers in the
treatment and control conditions, 71% evidenced attrition less than
10%, and 76% and 73% did not evidence floor or ceiling effects at
pretest (quasi-experiments) or posttest (true and quasi-experiments),
Table 1 (continued)
Study Grade Participant type Effect size
Hamilton (1992)
b
2 FR 0.75
Minns (1989)
b
2 AVG 0.26
Weiss (1992)
b
2–3 SW 0.80
Green (1991)
b
3 BLL 0.47
Fleury (1988)
b
3–5 FR 0.33
Roberts (2002)
b
3–5 FR 0.42
Swain et al. (2007)
b
3–5 FR 0.53
Wetzel (1985) 3–5 FR 0.18
Pritchard & Marshall (1994)
b
3–6 FR 0.39
Berninger et al. (2006, Experiment 4) 4 FR 0.38
Curry (1997)
b
4 SW 0.45
Umbach (1990)
a,b
4FR 0.06
Clippard & Nicaise (1998)
b
4–5 SW 0.37
Kirby (1987) 4–5 ELL 0.51
Kerchner & Kistinger (1984) 4–6 SW 0.24
MacArthur et al. (1995) 4–6 SW 0.44
Bui et al. (2006) 5 FR, SW 0.28
Dougans (1993)
b
5 FR 0.26
Ginn et al. (2002) 5 HA 2.20
Pantier (1999)
b
5FR 0.22
Kelley (1984)
b
6 AVG 1.64
Kelley (1984) 6 AVG 1.61
Note. SRSD self-regulated strategy development; FR full range (regular full class); SW struggling
writers; AVG average students; NS not specified; SWD students with disabilities; BLL bilingual
language learners; ELL English language learners; HA high-achieving students.
a
True experimental design.
b
Process approach.
Table 2
Average Weighted Effect Sizes and Confidence Intervals for Writing Treatments
Writing intervention No. of studies Effect size Confidence interval
Test of null
hypothesis Heterogeneity
SE p Q I
2
Strategy instruction 20 1.02 [0.74, 1.30] .142 .001 55.73
a
65.91
SRSD 14 1.17 [0.81, 1.53] .184 .001 40.61
a
67.87
Non-SRSD 6 0.59 [0.74, 1.30] .134 .001 4.32 0.00
Adding self-regulation to strategy instruction 6 0.50 [0.16, 0.83] .170 .003 7.27 31.18
Text structure instruction 9 0.59 [0.35, 0.83] .121 .001 4.73 0.00
Creativity/imagery instruction 4 0.70 [0.41, 1.00] .151 .001 2.69 0.00
Teaching transcription skills 8 0.55 [0.08, 1.02] .240 .022 31.67
a
78.79
Grammar instruction 4 0.41 [1.2, 0.38] .404 .312 13.31
a
77.46
Prewriting activities 8 0.54 [0.31, 0.76] .114 .001 3.37 0.00
Peer assistance 4 0.89 [0.35, 1.42] .271 .001 1.08 0.00
Product goals 7 0.76 [0.44, 1.08] .163 .001 13.14
b
54.34
Assessing writing 14 0.42 [0.22, 0.62] .102 .001 24.35
b
46.61
Adult feedback 5 0.80 [0.48, 1.13] .167 .001 1.55 0.00
Peer/self-feedback 10 0.37 [0.14, 0.60] .116 .001 20.31
b
55.67
Word processing 10 0.47 [0.19, 0.75] .143 .001 15.87 43.29
Extra writing time 5 0.30
Comprehensive writing programs 25 0.42 [0.28, 0.56] .073 .001 36.80
b
34.78
Process approach 16 0.40 [0.31, 0.49] .047 .001 12.37 0.00
Other comprehensive programs 9 0.55 [0.29, 0.95] .205 .007 24.34
a
67.13
Note. SRSD self-regulated strategy development.
a
Process approach.
b
True experimental design.
7
ELEMENTARY META-ANALYSIS
respectively. Also, writing quality scores for treatment and controls
were equivalent at pretest in 78% of quasi-experiments. It should be
noted, however, that we adopted a liberal criteria for determining
whether pretest differences were evident (i.e., the pretest difference
between conditions was more than the standard deviation for the
condition with the least variance). A more stringent criterion of .5
standard deviation would have identified 12 additional quasi-
experiments as being nonequivalent at pretest. However, these studies
had little impact on the analyses, as removing them did not change the
statistical significance of any treatment and the impact on point
estimates were never larger than .05 standard deviations, except for
transcription where the point estimate moved from 0.55 to 0.42.
Across writing treatments there was considerable variation in
study quality. Adding self-regulation to strategy instruction, teach-
ing transcriptions skills, and strategy instruction ranked as having
the most high-quality studies as 83%, 75%, and 70%, respectively,
of the studies in these treatments met two thirds or more of the
quality indicators. This was followed by prewriting activities
(50%), product goals (43%), extra writing (40%), assessing writing
(36%), peer assistance (25%), comprehensive writing programs
(22%), word processing (20%), process approach to writing in-
struction (13%), text structure instruction (11%), creativity/
imagery instruction (0%), and grammar instruction (0%).
Explicit Teaching
Strategy instruction. Twenty studies examined the effective-
ness of strategy instruction (students in Grades 2– 6; see Table 1).
Most of these studies focused on just teaching planning or drafting
strategies (N14), followed by planning, drafting, or revising
strategies (N4) and just revising (N2). Most of the studies
(N16) involved teaching genre-specific strategies (e.g., how to
plan and write a persuasive text), whereas the rest focused on
teaching strategies that could be applied across genres (e.g., se-
mantic webbing). Almost one half of the studies were conducted
with the full range of students in regular classrooms (N10),
whereas all but one of the rest of the studies involved struggling
writers (the exception involved average writers). Control condi-
tions were varied, ranging from skills instruction (N6) to a
poorly specified or partial process writing approach (N8) to
unspecified control (N2).
Strategy instruction enhanced the quality of students’ writing.
All of the studies produced a positive effect, yielding a statistically
significant average weighted ES of 1.02. The Qtest for heteroge-
neity was statistically significant, however, and I
2
indicated that
60% of the variance was due to between-study factors (see Table
2). Consequently, we examined whether type of strategy instruc-
tion moderated average ES and accounted for excess variability.
Fourteen of the studies involved strategy instruction using the
self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) model (Harris & Gra-
ham, 1996). With this model, students are taught general and
task-specific writing strategies, the background knowledge needed
to use the strategies, and procedures (goal setting, self-monitoring,
self-instructions, and self-reinforcement) for regulating the strate-
gies, the writing process, and writing behaviors. Instruction is
typically criterion based, teachers are encouraged to individualize
teaching to address students’ needs, students’ attitudes toward
writing and their self-efficacy are supported, and students are
viewed as collaborators in the learning process.
The average weighted ES for SRSD (1.17) was statistically
larger than the average weighted ES for non-SRSD interventions
(0.59; Q
between
10.08, p.001). The average weighted ES was
statistically greater than no effect for both SRSD and non-SRSD,
and type of instruction accounted for some of the excess variance,
as all the variance in ESs for non-SRSD studies was accounted for
by sampling error alone (see I
2
statistic in Table 2).
To account for excess variance in ESs for SRSD, we ran
additional moderator analyses. Neither type of student (full range
vs. struggling writers) nor grade (primary vs. intermediate grades)
statistically moderated ESs for SRSD.
Adding self-regulation instruction to strategy instruction.
In six studies (see Table 1), the benefit of adding self-regulation
instruction (e.g., goal setting and self-assessment) to strategy in-
struction was tested (five of these investigations involved SRSD).
Students were in Grades 2– 6, and all but two of these studies
involved struggling writers.
Adding self-regulation instruction to strategy instruction im-
proved writing quality. All of the studies produced a positive
effect, yielding an average weighted ES of 0.50. This effect was
statistically greater than no effect, and the variability in ESs was
not statistically greater than sampling error alone (see Qin
Table 2).
Text structure instruction. We calculated an ES for nine
studies that examined the impact of teaching text structure (see
Table 1). Students were in Grades 2– 6, with all but one study
conducted with the full range of students in regular classrooms.
Control conditions were varied (vocabulary or summary writing
instruction, free writing, reading text, reading instruction). The
majority of the studies involved teaching the structure of stories
(N5), with the remaining studies teaching a variety of text
structures (e.g., persuasive, expository, academic).
Teaching students the structure of text improved writing quality.
Each study produced a positive ES, yielding an average weighted
ES of 0.59. This effect was statistically significant, and all variance
in ESs was accounted for by sampling error alone (see I
2
statistic
in Table 2).
Creativity/imagery instruction. We located four studies (see
Table 1) that examined the impact of teaching students either how
to be more creative or how to form visual images (two studies
tested each procedure). It should be noted that instruction in these
studies did not appear to tie creativity or imagery instruction
directly to the process of creating written text. Students in these
studies were in Grades 3– 6, with three of the studies focusing on
high-achieving students and one study on struggling writers. Con-
trol conditions were varied (e.g., listening and responding to sto-
ries, completing reading and writing activities, no treatment con-
trol).
Teaching students how to be more creative or how to produce
visual images improved writing quality. All studies produced a
positive ES, resulting in an average weighted ES of 0.70. This
effect was statistically significant, and all the variance in ESs was
accounted for by sampling error alone (see I
2
statistic in Table 2).
Teaching transcription skills. The impact of teaching tran-
scription skills (handwriting, spelling, and/or keyboarding) was
tested in eight studies (see Table 1). Students were in Grades 1–3,
with all but two of the studies involving struggling writers. Hand-
writing was taught in five studies, spelling in three studies, and
keyboarding in one study. Control conditions varied considerably
8GRAHAM, MCKEOWN, KIUHARE, AND HARRIS
(e.g., mathematics instruction, phonological awareness instruction,
unspecified).
Teaching transcription skills enhanced writing quality. The av-
erage weighted ES was 0.55, and this effect was statistically
greater than no effect. Seventy-five percent of studies produced a
positive effect. Variability in ESs, however, was statistically
greater than sampling error alone (see Qin Table 2).
Grammar instruction. We calculated four effects for the
teaching of grammar (see Table 1). Students in these studies were
in typical classrooms in Grades 3, 5, and 6. Both treatment and
comparison conditions were varied (e.g., comparisons were made
to process writing, strategy instruction, and typical language arts
instruction).
Teaching grammar did not statistically influence writing quality
(see Table 2). One half of the effects were negative, and the
resulting average weighted ES was 0.41.
Scaffolding Students’ Writing
Prewriting activities. Eight studies tested the effectiveness
of prewriting activities (see Table 1). Students in these studies
were in Grades 2– 6. All of the investigations except one involved
the full range of students in regular classrooms. Preplanning in
these studies mostly focused on making notes or drawing pictures
prior to writing, with one study concentrating on gathering infor-
mation via the Internet. The control conditions typically involved
just writing (N4) or skills instruction (N2).
Involving students in prewriting activities improved writing
quality. All studies yielded a positive ES, resulting in an average
weighted ES of 0.54. This effect was statistically significant, and
all variance in ESs was accounted for by sampling error alone (see
I
2
statistic in Table 2).
Peer assistance when writing. We calculated four effects
examining the effectiveness of peers working together when writ-
ing (see Table 1). The four investigations were conducted with
students in Grades 2– 6. With the exception of one study involving
struggling writers, students represented the full range of students in
regular classrooms. Three of the studies involved students helping
one another with revising, whereas one of the studies focused more
broadly as students helped one another throughout the writing
process. In the control conditions, all students carried out writing
processes independently.
Having students work together enhanced writing quality. Each
study produced a positive ES, yielding an average weighted ES of
0.89. This effect was statistically significant, and all variance in
ESs was accounted for by sampling error alone (see I
2
statistic in
Table 2).
Product goals. Seven studies conducted with students in
Grades 4 6 examined the effects of product goals (see Table 1).
Five of the studies included students who represented the full
range of children in the regular classroom, whereas four investi-
gations included struggling writers (two studies had both types of
students). Goals ranged from objectives to include specific types of
information in a paper (e.g., reasons to support a thesis) to making
specific types of revisions (e.g., add three new things to the paper).
Control conditions involved various types of general goals (e.g.,
write a persuasive text, make paper better).
Providing students with specific goals had a positive impact on
writing quality. All studies yielded a positive ES, resulting in a
statistically significant average weighted ES of 0.76. The Qtest for
heterogeneity was statistically significant, and I
2
indicated that
54% of the variance was due to between-study factors (see Table
2). We conducted a moderator analysis involving participant type
(there were eight ESs for this variable): full range (N4) versus
struggling writer (N4). Although the average weighted ES of
these two groups (full range 0.71; struggling writers 0.43) did
not differ statistically (p.34), all the variance in ESs was
accounted for by sampling error alone for struggling writers.
Assessing writing. We calculated 14 effects for assessing
writing with children in Grades 2– 6 (see Table 1). Students in all
but one of these studies involved the full range of children in
regular classes (gifted children was the exception). The assessment
of writing was quite varied in the 14 studies and included teacher
feedback (on students’ papers or their progress learning a specific
writing skill; peer feedback [giving and/or receiving feedback on a
paper]) and student self-assessment (teaching students to use ru-
brics or 6-trait methods to assess their writing).
Assessment had a positive impact on writing quality. The
average weighted ES was 0.42, and this effect was statistically
significant (86% of studies yielded a positive effect). The Qtest
for heterogeneity was statistically significant, however, and I
2
indicated that 47% of the variance was due to between-study
factors (see Table 2). As a result, we examined whether type of
assessment moderated average ES and accounted for excess
variability. This involved comparing studies where adults pro-
vided feedback (teachers or parents; N5) to studies where
feedback mostly came from peers or students’ themselves (N
10). One study (Guastello, 2001) had a parent feedback treat-
ment and a treatment where students were taught to self-assess
their writing.
The average weighted ES for adult feedback (0.80) was statis-
tically larger than the average weighted ES for peer or self-
feedback (0.37; Q
between
10.40, p.001). The average
weighted ES for both types of feedback were statistically greater
than no effect, and variability of ESs in studies involving adult
feedback was not greater than sampling error alone (see I
2
statistic
in Table 2).
Alternative Modes of Composing
Word processing. Ten studies conducted with students in
Grades 1– 6 tested the effectiveness of word processing (see Table
1). Most of these investigations (N7) involved the full range of
students in typical classes (two studies involved struggling writers
and one study average writers). All of the studies involved com-
paring word processing to writing by hand, with two of the studies
testing the effectiveness of word processing programs with addi-
tional software for facilitating planning or drafting of text (Englert,
Zhao, Dunsmore, Collings, & Wolbers, 2007) or vocabulary and
speech synthesis capabilities (Zhang, Brooks, Frields, & Redelfs,
1995).
Using word processing to write had a positive effect on writing
quality. The average weighted ES was 0.47 (70% of the studies
yielded a positive effect). This effect was statistically greater than
no effect, and the Qstatistic was not statistically significant (see
Table 2).
9
ELEMENTARY META-ANALYSIS
Other Writing Activities
Extra writing time. We calculated five effects for studies
examining the effects of increasing how much students wrote (see
Table 1). These studies involved students in Grades 2– 6, with all
but one of them conducted with full-range students in a typical
class. Extra writing ranged from writing about self-selected topics
to daily expressive writing time. Comparison conditions ranged
from writing skills instruction to silent reading time to unspecified
treatment. Increasing how much students wrote improved writing
quality. The average weighted ES was 0.30, with all but one study
(conducted with English language learners) resulting in a positive
effect. This effect was statistically greater than no effect, and all
the variance in ESs was accounted for by sampling error alone (see
I
2
statistic in Table 2).
Comprehensive writing programs. Twenty-five studies ex-
amined comprehensive writing programs (16 studies tested the
process writing approach). These studies involved students in
Grades 1– 6. One half of the studies were conducted with full-
range students in typical classes (N13), with the remaining
studies involving struggling writers (N7) or average (N2),
high-achieving (N1), or English language learning students
(N2). The writing treatment in studies that did not test just the
process approach to writing were varied and included a process
approach combined with word processing and strategy instruction;
whole language approach, language experience; direct instruction
writing program; and writing skill and text structure instruction.
Comprehensive writing programs improved writing quality. The
average weighted ES was 0.42 (81% of studies produced a positive
effect). This effect was statistically greater than no effect. The Q
test for heterogeneity was statistically significant, however, and I
2
indicated that 35% of the variance was due to between-study
factors (see Table 2). As a result, we examined whether type of
program (process writing approach vs. other comprehensive pro-
grams) accounted for excess variability. Although the average
weighted ES of these two groups (process approach to writing
0.40; other comprehensive programs 0.55) did not differ statis-
tically (p.69), the Qstatistic for the process approach was not
statistically significant, and all the variance in ESs was accounted
for by sampling error alone (see I
2
statistic in Table 2).
Discussion
The implementation of CCSS in American schools requires that
many teachers and schools change how writing is taught to chil-
dren in the elementary grades. We believe that these changes are
more likely to be successful if teachers apply effective tools for
teaching writing. The findings from this meta-analysis demonstrate
that there are a variety of evidence-based instructional procedures
for improving the writing of students in the elementary grades.
Caveats
Before summarizing the findings from this review, it is impor-
tant to consider six factors that can influence interpretation. First,
this review involved aggregating the findings from individual
studies to draw conclusions about specific writing treatments. The
value and scope of any conclusion drawn depends on a variety of
factors, such as the quality of the investigations and who partici-
pated in the studies. For example, it is not appropriate to draw a
broad conclusion aimed at all elementary students if the research
reviewed only involved students in the primary grades. Thus, the
conclusions drawn in this review were restricted to the grades and
types of students tested. Our conclusions were further constrained
by study quality. This information was used to indicate how much
confidence can be placed in the findings for a treatment.
It must be noted that 10% of studies included in this review were
quasi-experiments where treatment and control each involved a
single class taught by different teachers (possibly confounding
treatment with teacher effects). We reran our analyses and found
that eliminating these single-class studies had virtually no impact,
as ESs changed by .04 standard deviations or less and statistical
significance remained the same in all analyses except one. We
were unable to test this with grammar instruction, because two of
the four studies involved a single class.
Second, one concern with meta-analysis involves the compara-
bility of outcome measures on which the ESs are based. We
addressed this problem by limiting our analyses to measures of
writing quality. However, measures of writing quality were not the
same across all studies, as they included holistic, analytic, and
norm-referenced measures. This introduced some unwanted noise
into the machinery of our meta-analysis.
Third, another concern with meta-analysis involves the similar-
ity of the control conditions in studies testing a specific treatment.
If there is considerable variability in control conditions, the con-
clusions must be interpreted in light of this situation. For example,
if the effects for all studies are positive and there is variability in
the control conditions, it can be argued that the treatment is
effective when tested against multiple comparisons (although in-
terpretation is cleaner when there is a single common point of
comparison). In contrast, if studies testing a specific treatment
produced a mix of positive and negative effects and there were
differences in the control or comparison conditions, this compli-
cates interpretation, as variability in effects may be related to this
difference. For some treatments (e.g., product goals) in this meta-
analysis, the control conditions were relatively similar. For other
treatments (e.g., comprehensive writing programs), there was more
variability in control conditions.
Fourth, some writing treatments have been the focus of more
research than others. For example, the impact of strategy instruc-
tion was tested in 20 experiments, whereas we located only four
studies that examined grammar instruction. There is clearly a need
for additional study of treatments that have been tested infre-
quently. Moreover, new treatments need to be developed and
tested, as the number of writing treatments assessed in one or more
studies was limited.
Fifth, despite our comprehensive search, it is likely that we did
not find all possible studies. We do not think this is a serious
problem, as a fail-safe Nanalysis showed that to nullify the overall
ES of studies in this review (average weighted ES for all studies
0.42, CI [0.28, 0.56]), there would have to be 84 missing studies
for every located study.
Sixth, we adjusted ESs for quasi-experiments to take into ac-
count clustering variance. These adjustments were made by im-
puting ICCs derived mostly from the study of reading. Although
we would have preferred using ICCs based on writing data, such
statistics were not available for each grade level. ICCs based on
reading provide a relatively good match to writing, as students’
10 GRAHAM, MCKEOWN, KIUHARE, AND HARRIS
performance on these two skills is strongly related (Fitzgerald &
Shanahan, 2000).
What Instructional Practices Improve the Quality of
Elementary Students’ Writing?
We calculated an average weighted ES for 13 writing treatments
(each treatment was assessed by four or more studies). For all but
one treatment, the average weighted ES was positive and statisti-
cally greater than 0. The only exception was teaching grammar,
where a statistically nonsignificant average weighted ES of 0.41
was obtained (Graham & Perin, 2007a, obtained an ES of 0.32
with Grade 4 –12 students in 11 studies). There are several reasons,
however, to be cautious in interpreting this finding. First, grammar
instruction was the control condition (not the experimental condi-
tion) in all four studies that tested this treatment. Second, the
comparison condition to which grammar instruction was compared
varied considerably, as did the obtained effects. Third, the overall
quality of studies assessing grammar instruction was low. Addi-
tional and better research is needed to test the effectiveness of such
instruction.
In summarizing the findings for the other 12 writing treatments
next, we include a recommendation, average weighted ES, grade
range, and description of types of students tested. The confidence
that can be placed in a recommendation based on the quality of
the studies assessing it was specified, as were findings that must be
interpreted more cautiously due to variability in the comparison
conditions. When possible, we compared the findings for a specific
writing treatment in this review with findings for the same or
similar writing treatments in previous meta-analyses. If there was
no suitable comparison, the obtained ES was compared to the
average weighted ES of 0.55 for all studies included in this
meta-analysis.
Our 12 recommendations are ordered as follows. Our findings
for writing treatments involving explicit instruction are presented
first, followed by findings for approaches to scaffolding students’
writing. Then, findings for alternative modes of composing (i.e.,
word processing), extra writing, and comprehensive writing pro-
grams are summarized. In each category (e.g., explicit instruction)
with two or more treatments, interventions with larger weighted
average ESs are presented before ones with smaller effects. The
only exception involves strategy instruction and adding self-
regulation to strategy instruction, as these treatments are directly
tied to each other.
Explicit Instruction
1. Teach students strategies for planning, drafting, or revising
different types of text (average weighted ES 1.02). All 20
studies where writing strategies were taught to both typically
developing and struggling writers in Grades 2– 6 resulted in a
positive effect. This occurred even though strategy instruction was
compared to a variety of different control conditions and the
strategies tested varied from procedures that could be applied only
with a specific type of writing (e.g., persuasive) or more broadly.
The SRSD model (Harris & Graham, 1996) of strategy instruction
was particularly effective, yielding an overall ES 1.17, but so were
other forms of strategy instruction (collectively they resulted in an
overall ES of 0.59). Considerable confidence can be placed in
these findings, as the quality of the research was high. These
findings are comparable to those of Graham and Perin (2007c),
who reported an overall ES of 0.82 with Grade 4 –12 students
(SRSD, ES 1.14; other strategy instruction approaches, ES
0.62), and Graham (2006a), who found an average ES of 1.15 (not
weighted by sample size) for students in Grades 2–10 (SRSD,
ES 1.57; other strategy instruction approaches, ES 0.89).
2. Teach students procedures for regulating the writing strate-
gies they are taught (average weighted ES 0.50). Both typically
developing students (Grade 4) and struggling writers (Grades 2– 6)
benefited when they were taught how to apply self-regulation
procedures, such as goal setting and self-assessment, to help them
manage the writing strategies they were taught. Five of the six
studies involved SRSD instruction, and all studies produced pos-
itive effects. These findings help to explain why SRSD obtained
such large effects (see above), as the teaching of goal setting,
self-assessment, and other self-regulation procedures as part of
strategy instruction is one way in which SRSD differs from
other strategy instructional approaches (Harris & Graham, 1996).
Considerable confidence can be placed in these findings, as the
quality of the research was high and the study comparisons were
similar (strategy instruction plus self-regulation vs. strategy in-
struction). The overall finding for this recommendation was com-
parable to the overall average weighted ES of 0.55 for all studies
in the current meta-analysis.
3. Teach students how to form images and be more creative
(average weighted ES 0.70). Teaching the process of visual
imagery or how to be more creative consistently enhanced the
writing quality of mostly high-achieving students in Grades 3– 6
(positive effects were obtained for creativity instruction in one
study with struggling writers in Grades 3– 6). It should be noted
that the control conditions in the four studies testing this treatment
were varied. It also appeared (but it cannot be determined conclu-
sively from the obtained reports) that students were not taught how
to apply mental imagery or creativity directly to their writing.
Considerable care must be exercised in interpreting the findings
for this recommendation, as all four studies were of poor quality.
The overall finding for this treatment exceeded the overall average
weighted ES of 0.55 for all studies in this review.
4. Teach students how different types of text are structured and
formed (average weighted ES 0.59). Teaching students in
Grades 2– 6 the structure and form of narrative and expository text
resulted in a positive effect. This occurred in all studies testing this
treatment, even though control conditions varied considerably.
This overall positive effect was mostly limited to typically devel-
oping students, although two studies involved struggling writers in
Grades 4 and 5. Interpretation of these findings must be tempered
by the poor quality of research in this area. The overall effect for
text structure instruction was comparable to the overall average
weighted ES of 0.55 for all studies in this review.
5. Teach students spelling, handwriting, and keyboarding (av-
erage weighted ES 0.55). Teaching text transcription skills
improved the quality of writing produced by students in Grades
1–3 in six out of eight studies. Four of the studies where positive
effects were obtained were conducted with struggling writers,
whereas positive effects were evident in two other studies involv-
ing typically developing writers. Although considerable confi-
dence can be placed in this recommendation, as study quality was
high, there was considerable variability in control conditions. The
11
ELEMENTARY META-ANALYSIS
overall effect for this treatment was equivalent with the overall
average weighted ES of 0.55 for all studies in the current meta-
analysis.
Scaffold Students’ Writing
6. Develop instructional arrangements where children work
together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their papers (average
weighted ES 0.89). Such collaborative activities had a positive
effect in all studies conducted with students in Grades 2– 6 (control
conditions were relatively similar). These effects were obtained
mostly with typically developing children, but one study involved
struggling writers in Grades 4 6. The confidence that can be
placed in this recommendation, however, must be tempered by the
generally poor quality of research. Peer assistance produced a
slightly larger overall effect in this review than it did (0.75) in the
Graham and Perin (2007a) review with students in Grades 4 –12.
7. Set clear and specific goals (e.g., add three new ideas when
revising) for what students are to accomplish when writing (aver-
age weighted ES 0.76). All studies involving product goals with
students in Grades 4 6 resulted in a positive effect (control
conditions were relatively similar in each study). This was true for
typically developing writers and struggling writers. The confi-
dence that can be placed in these findings must be tempered
somewhat by study quality. However, all studies were true exper-
iments. Product goal effects in this meta-analysis were comparable
to the overall effect (0.70) obtained in the Graham and Perin
(2007a) review with students in Grades 4 –12.
8. Engage students in activities that help them gather and orga-
nize ideas for their papers before they write a first draft (average
weighted ES 0.54). All studies testing prewriting activities
resulted in positive effects with students in Grades 2– 6 (the control
conditions varied modestly). These studies mostly involved typi-
cally developing students (one was conducted with struggling
writers in Grades 3– 6). The confidence that can be placed in the
findings, however, must be tempered somewhat by study quality.
The overall effect for prewriting in this review was greater than the
effect for prewriting (0.32) obtained by Graham and Perin (2007a)
with students in Grades 4 –12.
9. Assess students’ writing and progress learning to write (av-
erage weighted ES 0.42). Twelve of 14 studies where teachers,
peers, or students’ assessed one or more aspects of writing or
learning to write yielded positive effects for typically developing
students in Grades 1– 6 (control conditions were characterized by
the lack of the target assessment procedure). The two studies that
yielded negative effect involved the 61 Trait model (Collopy,
2008; Paquette, 2009). In addition, assessment procedures where
adults (teachers and in one instance parents) gave feedback pro-
duced larger effects (0.80) than studies where feedback came
mostly from peers or the writer themselves (0.37). Some caution
must be exercised in interpreting the findings for this recommen-
dation due to poor study quality. The overall effect for assessing
writing was slightly smaller than the overall average weighted ES
of 0.55 for all studies in the current meta-analysis.
Alternative Modes of Composing
10. Make it possible for students to use word processing as a
primary tool for writing (average weighted ES 0.47). Seven of
the 10 studies that examined the effectiveness of word processing
with students in Grades 1– 6 produced positive effects (the control
conditions were relatively similar across investigations). Two of
the studies that produced positive results involved struggling writ-
ers, and word processing programs in these studies included ad-
ditional software designed to help the writer. Caution must be used
in interpreting the effects of word processing, however, due to
poor study quality. The finding for this recommendation was
compatible with the overall effect of 0.50 obtained by Graham and
Perin (2007a) with students in Grades 4 –12, and overall effect of
0.52 by Morphy and Graham (2012) with struggling writers in
Grades 1–12.
Other Writing Activities
11. Increase how much students write (average weighted ES
0.30). Four of the five studies that examined the effects of increas-
ing how much students in Grades 2– 6 wrote (at least 15 extra
minutes a day) produced positive effects. Each study that yielded
a positive effect was conducted with typically developing students,
whereas the one study that produced a negative effect involved
English language learners (Gomez et al., 1996). Control conditions
varied considerably across the five studies, and some caution needs
to be exercised in interpreting the findings for this recommenda-
tion due to poor study quality. The overall effect for extra writing
was smaller than the overall average weighted ES of 0.55 for all
studies in the current meta-analysis.
Complete Writing Programs
12. Implement a comprehensive writing program (average
weighted ES 0.42). Four out of every five studies testing a
comprehensive writing program with Grade 1– 6 students pro-
duced a positive effect. More specifically, implementing a process
approach to writing had a positive impact on writing quality in
typical elementary grade classrooms (average weighted ES
0.40). Such findings for the process approach are similar to those
of Graham and Perin (2007a), who reported an overall ES of 0.32
with students in Grades 4 –12 (they did not correct for quasi-
experiment pretest differences), and Graham and Sandmel (2011),
who reported an average ES of 0.31 with students in Grades 1–12
(they included studies where the reliability of quality scores was
not established). It should be noted that Graham and Sandmel did
not find a statistically significant effect for process writing when
just studies involving students at risk (struggling writers and
English language learners) were analyzed. We did not conduct
such an analysis, as variability in ESs did not exceed sampling
error for studies testing the process approach. The confidence that
can be placed in the process approach and other comprehensive
writing programs must be tempered by the poor quality of the
studies testing these treatments.
How the Findings From This Meta-Analysis Support
and Extend Prior Findings
As was the case in earlier meta-analysis of true and quasi-
experiments (conducted with students in Grades 1–12 or Grades
4 –12), the findings from the this review provided support for the
effectiveness of six writing practices: strategy instruction (cf.
12 GRAHAM, MCKEOWN, KIUHARE, AND HARRIS
Graham, 2006a; Graham & Harris, 2003; Graham & Perin, 2007a);
peers working together as they plan, draft, and revise papers (cf.
Graham & Perin, 2007a); product goals (cf. Graham & Perin,
2007a); prewriting activities (cf. Graham & Perin, 2007a); word
processing (cf. Bangert-Drowns, 1993; Goldberg et al., 2003;
Graham & Perin, 2007c; Morphy & Graham, 2012); and the
process approach to writing instruction (cf. Graham & Perin,
2007a; Graham & Sandmel, 2011).
The effectiveness of strategy instruction, product goals, prewrit-
ing activities, and word processing was also supported in an earlier
meta-analysis of single-subject-design research with students in
Grades 1–12 (Rogers & Graham, 2008). Moreover, an analysis of
qualitative research studying the practices of highly effective
teachers in Grades 4 –12 (Graham & Perin, 2007b) found that such
teachers engaged in two of the practices found effective here:
treating writing as a process and teaching students strategies for
carrying out these processes. Collectively, the findings from these
multiple reviews provide evidence that these six practices are
effective with younger as well as older students and that each
practice (with the exception of peers working together) is sup-
ported by multiple forms of data.
The findings from this meta-analysis extended previous reviews
by identifying six additional practices that were effective. This
included including self-regulation instruction as part of strategy
instruction; teaching text structure, creativity/imagery, and text
transcription skills (spelling, handwriting, and keyboarding); as-
sessing students’ writing; and increasing how much students write.
Although Graham and Perin (2007a) collected enough studies to
compute an average weighted ES for text structure instruction and
extra writing with students in Grades 4 –12, they chose not to do so
because of the small number of ESs (five and six, respectively),
disparate findings for each treatment, and variability in control
conditions. Hillocks (1986) reported an average ES of 0.36 for
student evaluation of writing using scales (this finding with older
students overlaps somewhat with our finding for assessing writ-
ing). Additional research is needed to determine whether the six
newly identified practices are effective with older students (this
even includes some aspects of teaching transcription skills, such as
spelling instruction).
Implications for Theory, Policy, Classroom Practices,
and Future Research
Theory. The findings from this review provide support for
the theoretical contention (see Graham, 2006b) that writing strat-
egies and knowledge play an important role in elementary stu-
dents’ growth as writers. When students receive instruction de-
signed to enhance their strategic prowess as writers (i.e., strategy
instruction, adding self-regulation to strategy instruction, creativ-
ity/imagery instruction), they become better overall writers. Like-
wise, when students are taught specific knowledge about how to
write (i.e., test structure instruction), the overall quality of their
writing improves.
Support for the contention that writing skill development fuels
elementary students’ growth as writers received only partial sup-
port. Teaching text transcription skills such as handwriting, spell-
ing, or typing improved the writing of students in Grades 1–3
(although most of the studies reviewed were conducted with
weaker writers). In contrast, grammar instruction had no apprecia-
ble effect on writing. Additional research is needed to determine
which skills contribute to which students’ writing development
and when.
Policy. Despite the importance of writing, too many students
do not develop the writing skills they need to be successful
(Salahu-Din, Persky, & Miller, 2008). If this is to change, improv-
ing writing instruction must become a national priority (even
beyond CCSS).
One possible reason for why writing has played a minor role in
past reform efforts is that policy makers may believe that the tools
for improving how well students’ write do not exist. This meta-
analysis and previous ones (e.g., Bangert-Drowns, 1993; Goldberg
et al., 2003; Graham & Perin, 2007a, 2007c; Hillocks, 1986)
indicate otherwise, as a variety of effective tools for improving the
overall quality of students’ writing were identified. In addition,
previous meta-analysis of true and quasi-experiments demon-
strated that writing instruction improves students’ reading skills
(Graham & Hebert, 2010) and writing about material read or
presented in class enhances the learning of such information
(Bangert-Drowns et al., 2004; Graham & Hebert, 2010; Graham &
Perin, 2007c). Using writing to support student learning likely
depends on how well students write. For all of these reasons, it is
time for federal, state, and school leaders to step up to the plate and
place a greater emphasis on improving students’ writing.
Classroom practices. Implementing evidence-based writing
instruction is a challenging task (Rogers & Graham, 2008). Just
because a writing practice was effective in multiple research
studies does not guarantee that it will be effective in all other
situations. Rarely, if ever, is there a perfect match between the
conditions under which the writing practice was implemented in
the research studies and the conditions in which it was subse-
quently put to use in classrooms. Even if there was a good match,
the safest course of action is for teachers implementing the writing
practice to monitor its effects to be sure it works in their class-
rooms with their students.
It must also be recognized that we do not know what combina-
tion or how much of each of the recommended writing practices in
this review or other reviews (e.g., Graham & Perin, 2007c) is
needed to maximize writing instruction. There is some preliminary
evidence, however, that using different writing practices together
can be beneficial (Sadoski, Wilson, & Norton, 1997). Even so, the
recommendations for teaching writing from this and other recent
reviews (e.g., Graham & Perin, 2007c) are incomplete, as they do
not address all aspects of writing (e.g., sentence construction,
teaching vocabulary for writing). In any event, if the recommen-
dations in this review are to be implemented, professional devel-
opment at both the preservice and in-service levels will be critical
to ensure teachers learn how to apply them effectively.
Another issue in implementing the writing practices identified in
this and other reviews revolves around the different organizational
structures or formats for teaching writing that exist in schools. In
elementary schools, for example, regular classroom teachers, spe-
cial education teachers, other specialists (e.g., reading specialists),
and aides may all be involved in one or more aspects of writing
instruction. In addition, writing might be taught or applied in
separate subject areas such as social studies or science. The inter-
action between these various formats and the writing practices
identified here has not been tested. In other words, it is not certain
how well the writing practices recommended here would fare in
13
ELEMENTARY META-ANALYSIS
each of these different formats. Consequently, before implement-
ing one or more of these practices, teachers should conduct a
careful analysis of the organizational structure or format within
which it will be placed, with the aim of identifying factors that may
facilitate or impede effectiveness.
Future research. This review provides important insights
into the strengths and weaknesses of true and quasi-experiments
testing the effectiveness of specific writing practices with stu-
dents in the elementary grades. Bluntly put, the quality of much
of the intervention research in this area was not what it should
be. There were only three writing treatments (i.e., strategy
instruction, adding self-regulation to strategy instruction, and
teaching transcription skills) where 70% or more of the studies
met at least two thirds of the target quality indicators. Across all
studies, random assignment of students to conditions was rare
(36% of studies), as was controlling for teacher effects (37% of
studies). Attrition problems were too common (40% of studies),
as were pretest ceiling and floor effects at posttest (27% of
studies). Likewise, treatment fidelity was rarely established.
There is clearly a need to improve the quality of this research.
Another area of concern involves the actual number of stud-
ies that have been conducted. We located 115 true and quasi-
experiments conducted with elementary grade students. This
compares well with the 123 documents located by Graham and
Perin (2007a) applying the same type of research with students
in Grades 4 –12. However, it is dwarfed by the number of
studies conducted by researchers in areas such as reading.
Writing has not been a priority for many research funding
agencies. This needs to change if we are to develop a better
understanding of how to teach writing effectively.
It is also important to note that there are a number of gaps in
research and areas where more evidence is needed. For example,
most of the research in this meta-analysis focused on typically
developing students. We located only 30 studies where an ES
could be computed for struggling writers, five studies where this
was the case with high-achieving students, and just three studies
that were conducted with English language learners or bilingual
students. Likewise, some writing treatments have hardly been
tested at all (e.g., interactive writing or sentence combining in-
struction), and there are many writing practices have never been
tested. Such gaps must be filled if we are to provide effective
writing instruction to all elementary grade students.
Finally, we identified only four writing treatments (process
writing, strategy instruction, assessing writing, and word process-
ing) that had been tested in 10 or more studies. Less confidence
can be placed in the reliability of an average ES when it is based
on a small number of studies. Thus, additional replication is
needed for most of the writing treatments examined in this meta-
analysis. Beyond replication, all of the writing treatments identi-
fied in this review would benefit from additional experimentation.
As an example, the effects of strategy instruction were not tested
in all grades, with all types of writing genres, or with gifted and
English language learners.
Concluding Comments
Meta-analysis provides a useful tool for drawing “important
insight from what might otherwise be a confused and disparate
literature” (Bangert-Drowns et al., 2004, p. 52). In the elementary
grades, the writing intervention literature certainly fits this descrip-
tion. Like Hillocks (1986) and Graham and Perin (2007c), we
capitalized on the strengths of meta-analysis to identify effective
writing treatments for young children. This was a productive
strategy, as we identified 13 practices that improved the quality of
these students’ writing.
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ELEMENTARY META-ANALYSIS
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Received July 1, 2011
Revision received February 20, 2012
Accepted May 13, 2012
18 GRAHAM, MCKEOWN, KIUHARE, AND HARRIS
Correction to Graham et al. (2012)
In the article “A Meta-Analysis of Writing Instruction for Students in the Elementary
Grades,” by Steve Graham, Debra McKeown, Sharlene Kiuhara, and Karen R. Harris
(Journal of Educational Psychology, Advance online publication. July 9, 2012. doi:
10.1037/a0029185), the names of authors Sharlene Kiuhara and Debra McKeown were
misspelled as Sharlene Kiuhare and Deborah McKeown. All versions of this article have
been corrected.
DOI: 10.1037/a0029939
... First, they develop skills in producing genre-appropriate written compositions (e.g., an evidence-based lab report, a persuasive argumentative essay). Second, they extend knowledge in the domain by carefully parsing and synthesizing with source materials they mine for this kind of assignment (e.g., Graham et al., 2012;Klein & Boscolo, 2016). ...
... Models of SRL highlight key roles for cognitive and metacognitive processes (e.g., Winne, 2018;Winne & Hadwin, 1998). Moreover, researchers have recently integrated research on SRL and writing processes (Graham et al., 2012;Klein & Boscolo, 2016), and SRL and multiple source use (Greene et al., 2018). Klein and Boscolo (2016) noted that, from a cognitive perspective, writing grounded in multiple sources requires writers to strategically cycle between reviewing source documents and composing can usefully be examined as a selfregulatory process. ...
... The writer is an agent in this endeavour. In these activities, the writer's self-regulatory tactics and strategies contribute to attaining goals and the overall quality of written products (Graham et al., 2012) and learning gains (Berthold et al., 2007;Klein et al., 2007). In the next section we discuss powerful processes of self-regulated learning (SRL) and cast light on their connections to multi-source use and writing processes. ...
Chapter
When writers mine information from multiple sources to develop an essay, they reinterpret and reorganize their knowledge as they pursue and, possibly, reshape goals for rhetorical structure. Such writing tasks are popular across age levels and domains. It is assumed cognitive processes engaged in this kind of task provide practice that improves writing skills and deepens engagement with content. However, writing grounded in multiple and typically diverse sources is a demanding task. Successfully synthesizing information across multiple sources calls on multiple and interwoven cognitive and metacognitive processes as authors balance work in rhetorical, content and metacognitive spaces. To successfully traverse this complex and evolving cognitive landscape shaped by multidimensional goals, writers need procedural knowledge that operationalizes skills plus broad conditional knowledge to guide using those skills. For these reasons, success in multi-source writing tasks requires extensive and productive self-regulation. To advance research on these issues and give direction to engineering writing analytics to support productive self-regulation in multi-source writing, we synthesized research accessing and synthesizing content across multiple sources (Cho et al., Strategic processing in accessing, comprehending, and using multiple sources online. In: Handbook of multiple source use. Routledge, pp 133–150, 2018; Perfetti et al., Toward a theory of documents representation. In: The construction of mental representations during reading. Psychology Press, p 88108, 1999; Rouet et al., Educ Psychol 52(3):200–215, 2017; Rouet and Britt, Relevance processes in multiple document comprehension. In: Text relevance and learning from text. Information Age Publishing, Inc., pp 19–52, 2011), writing processes (Bereiter and Scardamalia, The psychology of written composition. Hillsdale, 1987) and self-regulated learning (SRL; Winne, Cognition and metacognition within self-regulated learning. In: Schunk D, Greene J (eds) Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance, 2nd edn. Routledge, pp 36–48, 2018; Winne and Hadwin, Studying as self-regulated learning. In: Hacker DJ, Dunlosky J, Graesser A (eds) Metacognition in educational theory and practice, Erlbaum, pp 277–304, 1998). The result is a two-dimensional typology of cognitive and metacognitive processes in self-regulated writing using multiple sources (SR-WMS) spanning two problem spaces in writing tasks, rhetorical and content.KeywordsSelf-regulationMulti-source writingMultiple source comprehensionnStudyLearning analytics
... Un nombre important d'études (Graham & Harris, 2019 ;Graham et al., 2013 ;De Smedt & Van Keer, 2014 ;Brissaud et al., 2016 ;Graham et al., 2012b ;Graham & Sandmell, 2011 ;voir Morin et al., 2009 pour des études antérieures) mettent en évidence l'efficacité des pratiques d'enseignement explicite (Gauthier et al., 2013) des stratégies rédactionnelles. Ces contextes pédagogiques favorisent l'amélioration de la qualité des écrits en proposant un enseignement structuré. ...
... Un nombre important d'études met en avant l'importance des interactions (avec un pair ou avec l'enseignant) et des approches collaboratives (écriture en dyade, cercles d'auteurs…) qui constituent un levier dans l'amélioration de la qualité des écrits produits (Colognesi & Lucchini, 2018 ;De Smedt & Van Keer, 2014 ;Graham et al., 2012b). Ces opportunités de formuler et de recevoir des feedbacks tout au long du processus d'écriture constituent un étayage (Cavanagh & Blain, 2016) car elles permettent aux scripteurs d'expliciter les démarches cognitives mises en oeuvre et d'utiliser le métalangage (Marin & Lavoie, 2020). ...
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Facteur essentiel de réussite scolaire, la maitrise de l’écrit conditionne l’exercice d’une citoyenneté responsable et critique (Blaser, 2011). Pourtant, plusieurs études récentes (Brissaud & Fayol, 2018 ; Communauté française, 2015) montrent en effet que l’enseignement de la production d’écrits fait défaut dans les classes du début de l’enseignement primaire. Par ailleurs, les enseignants francophones se déclarent peu armés pour enseigner l’écriture et y consacrent deux fois moins de temps qu’à l’enseignement de la lecture (Goigoux, 2016 ; Lafontaine & Nyssen, 2006). Dans le cadre de la réforme du système éducatif belge francophone, 22 enseignants volontaires ont pris part à une recherche collaborative durant laquelle ils ont expérimenté un dispositif d’enseignement-apprentissage de l’écriture entre février et juin 2018. Celle-ci était menée par le groupe de travail Consortium Français-Latin. Le présent article investigue la manière dont quatre enseignantes belges francophones se sont appropriées la première phase d’enseignement explicite proposée dans l’atelier d’écriture de Calkins et al. (2016). Après avoir mis en évidence dans un précédent article (De Croix et al., 2020) les progressions significatives des élèves suite à l’expérimentation de ce dispositif, nous cherchons à décrire la variabilité observée au niveau du modelage proposé par ces quatre enseignantes et à analyser la nature des adaptations observées.
... Učiteľ uplatňuje postupy, ktoré dobre pozná, cíti sa pri tom sebaisto a má tak pozitívny vzťah k produkcii textu, ktorý prenáša na žiakov. Aj systematické inštruovanie využíva sebareguláciu, vizualizáciu a grafické organizéry, preto sme tento prístup zaradili k hybridným prístupom (IES, 2017;Limpo & Graham, 2020;Graham, Gillespie, & McKeown, 2013;Mc-Carthey, Woodard, & Kang, 2014;Tienken, 2003;Feng & Cole, 2015;Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012;López et al., 2017). ...
... K tomu slúžia stratégie, ktoré popri rozvíjaní schopnosti žiaka tvoriť text zároveň rozvíjajú i jeho sebaregulačné schopnosti. Štúdie dokazujú, že tieto stratégie sú veľmi účinné a žiaci dokážu osvojené sebaregulačné zručnosti neskôr uplatniť nielen pri tvorbe textu, ale aj v rámci iných predmetov či v budúcom živote (Graham & McArthur, 2016;Bouwer, Koster, & Bergh, 2018;Bai & Guo, 2019;Göçen, 2019;Bai & Wang, 2020;Graham, Harris, & Mason, 2006;Torrance, Fidalgo, & García, 2007;Tienken, 2003;Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012;López et al., 2017). ...
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Cílem studie je popsat výukovou lekci zaměřenou na tvořivý přístup k narativu (realizovanou se studenty Učitelství 1. stupně ZŠ) a na základě obsahové analýzy výsledných produktů a sebereflexe studentů poukázat na didaktický potenciál tvořivého přístupu didaktické narativní transformace. V první části formulujeme teoretická východiska v oblasti didaktiky literatury, naratologické kategorie vypravěče a narativní transformace. V druhé části popisujeme výukovou lekci zaměřenou na transformaci vypravěče s využitím tvořivého psaní a obsahovou analýzu produktů transformovaných textů. Z výsledků studentských odpovědí je patrné, že si původně naratologickou kategorii vypravěče neuvědomovali. Analýza studentských produktů poukázala na fakt, že studenti jsou schopni při narativní transformaci uplatnit vypravěčské perspektivy ve více rovinách, ale je potřeba pracovat s podrobnou reflexí a tzv. peer response, která jim pomáhá vylepšit původní zpracování, a s kritérii hodnocení. Zároveň se ukázalo, že pro studenty je poměrně složité využít při narativní transformaci tvořivý přístup a imaginaci.
... Le même auteur, avec d'autres co-auteurs (Graham et al., 2012), a réalisé une autre métaanalyse sur la même problématique, mais cette fois-ci auprès d'élèves de scolarité primaire (2-6 e années, CE1 à 6 e en France). Dans la plupart des 115 études retenues dans cette analyse, il s'agit d'enfants neurotypiques, mais il y a tout de même 40 études qui portent sur ou incluent des « struggling writers », et 2 des enfants avec des troubles avérés. ...
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The purpose of this article is to provide a review of the effectiveness of interventions for difficulties and disorders related to the identification and production of written words on the one hand, and to the comprehension and production of texts on the other. Following the rationale of the Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) approach, we limit ourselves here to examining the evidence that is considered to be at the highest level in the hierarchy, namely systematic reviews. In general, the results of these studies show a significant effect of explicit and structured interventions on theoretically motivated dimension(s). This phenomenon is found on all facets of written language, with effect sizes that are moderate to large, depending on certain modulating variables. Implications for practice are briefly discussed.
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This article reports on a qualitative secondary data analysis of a study of upper elementary students’ narrative writing progress in rural schools. It compares students working online in pairs with those working alone. We explain why the intervention had some positive effects for struggling writers but few effects for skilled writers. The qualitative analysis of student online writing products, student peer feedback, and teacher interviews indicated that struggling writers in the experimental group wrote more ambitious but less coherent stories than struggling writers in the control group, and that skilled writers in the experimental group received poor-quality feedback and were less inclined to revise than skilled writers in the control group. We provide suggestions for writing instruction and technology support for skilled and struggling writers.
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Despite the importance of writing texts in school, teachers´ competence in assessing the quality of students' texts seems to be limited with respect to interrater reliability, i.e. objectivity. However, it is unclear whether the reason for this lies in the challenging task itself (assessing text quality) or is a matter of teachers' lack of expertise (which could be improved by better teacher training). In this study, groups of presumed experts, teachers, and novices rated the overall quality of 20 students´ texts. In addition, they rated the importance of different component properties of texts for text quality assessments. Their ratings of text quality/importance of criteria were compared within the framework of the expert-novice paradigm. A many-facet Rasch model analysis indicated that neither teachers nor any of the other expert groups met predefined expertise criteria. All groups' diagnostic competences were comparable to novices' competences. We argue that more effort must be undertaken to identify manifest criteria that define good texts and are suitable for use in school.
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During the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, many K-12 schools suddenly shifted from the traditional brick and mortar schooling to virtual learning. With this shift, many teachers and students faced unanticipated instructional challenges. In this study, three elementary school teachers in the Mid-Atlantic opted to utilize an innovative technology based graphic organizer (TBGO) to support their virtual writing instruction for a persuasive essay unit. Participants included three 5th grade teachers and 13 diverse 5th grade students with disabilities, English language learners, or struggling writers. After receiving the bichronous (synchronous and asynchronous) professional development on the TBGO intervention, teachers delivered writing instruction online. Students’ writing outcomes at pretest, posttest with TBGO, and posttest without TBGO were examined. Findings revealed that there were significant differences from the pretest to both posttests for students’ total written words, the number of transition words, and writing quality. Additional qualitative findings indicated positive experiences for both students and teachers utilizing the TBGO during virtual instruction. The resilience of both students and teachers utilizing the writing intervention online is discussed.
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Bu araştırmanın amacı “Seç-Düzenle-Yaz ve İKNA et” stratejisinin hafif derecede zihinsel yetersizlikten etkilenmiş bir öğrencinin ikna edici metin yazma becerisini geliştirmedeki etkililiğini belirlemektir. Bu araştırma vaka çalışması olarak gerçekleştirilmiştir. Katılımcı, 11 yaşında beşinci sınıfa devam eden hafif derecede zihinsel yetersizlikten etkilenmiş bir kız öğrencidir. Araştırmada kendini düzenleme stratejilerini geliştirme (KDSG) modeli ile kullanılan POW+TREE ikna edici metin yazma stratejisi Türkçeye “Seç-Düzenle-Yaz ve İKNA et” adı ile uyarlanmıştır. Uyarlanan bu strateji öğrenciye KDSG modeli öğretim aşamalarına göre öğretilmiştir. Çalışma sonunda öğrencinin planlama süresi, toplam yazma süresi, metin uzunluğu, metin ögeleri sayısı ve metin kalitesi başlama düzeyine göre önemli oranda artmış ve öğrenci bu kazanımlarını öğretim bittikten 1-8 hafta sonra da sürdürmüştür. Araştırma sonucunda hafif derecede zihinsel yetersizlikten etkilenmiş bir öğrencinin ikna edici metin yazma becerisini geliştirmede ve edindiği beceriyi sürdürmede öğretim aşamaları KDSG modeline göre düzenlenen “Seç-Düzenle-Yaz ve İKNA et” stratejisinin etkili olduğu belirlenmiştir. Öğrencinin planlama stratejisini etkili kullanmasının sonucu olarak yazma süresinde ve metin ögelerinde artış gerçekleştirdiği düşünülmektedir. Metin ögelerindeki artış metin kalitesini de olumlu yönde etkilemiştir. Araştırmadan elde edilen bulgular incelendiğinde, öğrencinin yazdığı metinlerin ögeleri, yazma süreleri ve metin uzunlukları arasında doğrusal bir ilişki olmadığı görülmüştür.
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The book is about Computer Assisted Language Teaching at L2 Contexts in Higher Education
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the semantic organizer as a prewriting strategy with fourth grade students. Two homogeneously grouped fourth grade classes were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups. Both groups were given a pretest to determine differences in their writing ability. Students participated in two writing sessions per week for five consecutive weeks which were conducted by the investigator. One group used a semantic organizer prior to writing while the other group listed ideas as they were presented prior to writing. Except for this difference in prewriting strategy, both groups received the same instruction. A posttest was administered at the conclusion of the study following the same procedure as the pretest.^ Student papers from the pretest, sessions one, five, ten, and the posttest were evaluated holistically for content, organization, and purpose by three trained raters. The average number of words and communication units used by each group per session were also evaluated. Separate analysis of variance tables were used to report the findings for the dependent variables: content, organization, purpose, number of words, and number of communication units. Main effects and interactions for the independent variables of prewriting strategy and time were measured in relation to each of the five dependent variables.^ A mixed design analysis of variance was tested at the.05 level of significance. Post hoc tests were used where significant mean differences occurred.^ The students in the semantic organizer group included significantly more content, achieved a higher level of organization, and expressed a clearer sense of purpose in their compositions. They also used significantly more works in their writings. However, when teacher supervision of the semantic organizer strategy ceased, no significant between group differences were noted during posttesting. The results indicated that teacher guidance was a critical factor when using the semantic organizer as a prewriting strategy at the fourth grade level.^ A writing attitude survey was administered to both groups at the beginning and end of the investigation. Statistical analyses showed no significant differences between the prewriting strategy used and student attitude toward writing.