Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Special Education and Rehabilitation

Committee Chair(s)

Robert Morgan


Robert Morgan


Timothy Slocum


Scott Ross


Mark McLellan


Often described as passive learners, students with learning disabilities (LD) sometimes approach writing as a negative and burdensome task. Their reaction may imply that writing requires processes that they find difficult. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which high-interest narrative writing prompts for 12- to 13-year-old students in special education increase accuracy and total words written (TWW) in a 3-min timed writing sample compared to low-interest writing prompts. High-interest writing prompts are story starter topics chosen by each participant as preferred ones for writing tasks. Participants will be three individuals from a sixth- and seventh-grade special education language arts class who have been classified with LD. Initially, participants will select high- and low-interest writing topics using a prompt selection procedure. Given 40 potential writing topics, individual participants will select their 10 highest and lowest topics of interest. Participants completed 20, 3-min timed writing samples based on high- and low-interest narrative writing prompts. High- and low-interest topics were counterbalanced. Percent accuracy, TWW, and correct writing sequences (CWS) were recorded by the researcher. Using a multi-element design, the results confirmed that high-interest writing prompts produced more volume in comparison to low-interest writing prompts. However, results did not show higher accuracy in the high-interest condition. Results are discussed in terms of constructing writing lessons for sixth- and seventh-grade students with LD.




Publication made available electronically December 21, 2011.