Date of Award:

5-1988

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Charles R. Duke

Abstract

In case studies of six college freshmen of average English ability, as determined by ACT scores, the researcher explored the connections between teacher-student writing conferences and students' subsequent revisions. The following question guided this study: How does the teacher-student conference conversation relate to students' subsequent revisions? Three principles drawn from the review of literature also guided the study: 1) writing conferences can be used as a mid-composing intervention, 2) the purpose of such intervention is to guide student revision of a specific draft as well as instruct in general revision strategies, and 3) a study of student changes on drafts can provide information about the effectiveness of a previous conference.

The data were gathered from holistic scoring of the students' drafts, videotapes of each student's four conferences, two-level coding of the students' drafts and the students' conference transcriptions, interviews with the students, questionnaires about attitudes toward revision and conferences, the teacher-researcher's observations, writing self-analyses by the students, and the students' autobiographies as writers.

Holistic scoring of first and last drafts written during the study rated drafts after conferences at a higher level, but no meaningful long-term improvement was established.

The results of the study indicate that, although students continued to revise in the patterns to which they were accustomed, the topics covered in the conference strongly influenced their revision strategies: the students made more frequent content-level changes after conferences. The topics covered in the conference also influenced their future composing strategies on first drafts. Following the conferences, the students in this study made fewer changes at the word and phrase level and more changes at the sentence, theme, and correctness levels. The results also indicate that the non-directive conference provides for individual writing needs.

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