Date of Award:

11-2011

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Dr. Robert Morgan

Abstract

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.

Comments

Publication made available electronically December 21, 2011.

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