ERIC Number: ED053142
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jun
Reference Count: 0
An Evaluation of Two Techniques of Teaching Freshman Composition. Final Report.
Clark, William G.
The effectiveness of two techniques of teaching freshman composition is assessed. One technique is the use of extensive written comments on the cover sheet and pages of a theme to inform the writer of his strengths and weaknesses. The other is the use of one class period per theme for the discussion of two or three of the themes written for that assignment. The freshman course in which the research was performed was the USAF Academy Fourth Class English course. The text for the course identifies, explains, and illustrates five components of expository writing: purpose, organization, content, sentences, and diction. Effectiveness of the techniques was measured by comparing skill in using these five components on their initial and final themes. Each of three instructors was asked to teach his four classes in four different ways: teach one class using one technique; one using the other; one using both; and one using neither. Data for the experiment were grades on four of the six out-of-class themes. Four readers were employed to grade the themes according to the following criteria: (1) purpose and organization, (2) content, and (3) sentences and diction. The scores were analyzed using standard product-moment correlational analyses and analyses of covariance. No reliable evidence was found to indicate that the two techniques, used singly or in combination, were superior to instruction which offered students no guidance for improving their writing. (CK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO.