ERIC Number: ED255865
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Effect of Restructured Content Textbook Passages on Middle Grade Students' Comprehension of Main Ideas: Making the Inconsiderate Considerate.
Baumann, James F.
A study was conducted to apply what is known about how expository text structure variables enhance main idea comprehension and to determine if restructuring content textbook passages improves such comprehension. Original texts were rewritten to be more "considerate" as follows: the paragraph main ideas were rewritten and placed in the first sentence within their paragraphs, the passage main idea was placed in the first sentence of the rewritten version, a passage title and paragraph subheads were written to cue the passage and paragraph main ideas respectively, the passage and paragraph main ideas were typed in italic and underlined, and content--although not different from the original versions--was restructured in the rewritten versions to be consistent with the hierarchical main idea organization. Fifth grade students were tested in two settings, in each of which they read one original and one rewritten science textbook passage and then responded to three different questions testing main idea comprehension. Results indicated that the students were able to compose significantly more correct passage main idea statements and paragraph main idea statements after reading the rewritten passages than after reading original passages, but demonstrated no reliable difference in their ability to recognize passage and paragraph main idea statements after reading rewritten passages or original passages. (Tables of findings and samples of original and rewritten texts conclude the paper.) (EL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Main Idea; Text Structure
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (34th, St. Petersburg, FL, December 6-8, 1984).