The effects of type of written practice and time of writing sample on sixth grade students' argumentative written responses to literature
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of type of written practice (collaborative and independent) and time of writing sample (pre-training, mid-training, and post-training) on sixth grade students' argumentative responses to literature and on the development of three elements of argument (stating claims, citing data, and using warrants). Forty-eight sixth grade students from a small, metropolitan Northern Virginia public school participated in three weeks of training. Training included instruction plus collaborative written practice or instruction plus independent written practice. Students we~e assigned randomly to the two treatment groups. Writing samples, which were written individually, were collected at three points in time (pre-training, mid-training, and post-training).
Each writing sample was scored for how well the student stated the claim, cited data to support the claim, and used warrants to connect the data to the claim. A composite score made up of the scores for the three elements reflected the student's total effectiveness. The scores for each element and the composite scores were analyzed by employing analyses of variance with repeated measures. The design was a 2 x 3 mixed design with repeated measures on one factor.
The results of the analyses of variance indicated that type of written practice and time of writing sample had significant effects on sixth grade students' total effectiveness scores and on the scores of two of the three elements of argument. There were significant interactions for total effectiveness, citing data, and using warrants. The results of all three analyses indicated that the collaborative written practice group scored, on average, significantly higher than the independent written practice group on the mid-training and the posttraining writing samples. Results also indicated that the members of the collaborative written practice group increased their citing data, using warrants, and total effectiveness scores significantly from the pre-training writing sample to the mid-training writing safflple. Although not significant, increases for the collaborative written practice group were noted from the mid-training to the post-training writing samples as well. No significant interactions or main effects existed for the stating claims element.
Based an these results, instruction and collaborative written practice appeared to emerge as effective strategies for developing the citing data and using warrants elements of argument resulting in an improvement in the students' total effectiveness. The pattern of development suggests that when provided appropriate training, sixth grade students can develop their argumentative written responses to literature.
- Doctoral Dissertations