University of North Carolina at Asheville
Subject Listing - Education
Advisor: Dr. James McGlinn
Thursday, Oral Session 1, Presentation 3, Karpen Hall 113
PREWRITING FOR THE SEVENTH GRADE WRITING TEST
Writing proficiency is essential to student success in school and beyond. Increased time spent writing is beneficial, but writing instruction needs to improve as well. One promising strategy for improving student content and coherence in writing is prewriting. Prewriting strategies include brainstorming, clustering, freewriting, mapping, charting, and outlining for organization. These strategies can be implemented through group prewriting or on extended individual assignments. This study investigates the effects of instruction in prewriting on performance of timed writing for the North Carolina Writing Assessment. The subjects for the study were forty-six seventh grade students from lowest to highest ability levels in an urban middle school. Students took a pre-test under the same conditions as the state writing test, and the teachers applied consensus scoring to the test. Students received feedback on their scores, and then instruction in prewriting was given for three weeks. Samples of pre-writing work from this instruction time were analyzed to see if students? knowledge of prewriting increased. A post-test was given under the same conditions, and consensus scoring was applied again. All of the paper a student used during each test was collected in order to see to what degree prewriting was used before composing the essays. By using the state rubric and consensus scoring, teacher-researchers were able to determine scores with a high degree of validity. The results of these assessments are reported and analyzed. Suggestions for teachers and future researchers are discussed.
Advisor: Dr. James McGlinn, Professor, Department of Education, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC