ERIC Number: ED347537
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Stages in Writing Maturation Grades 4-12.
Evans, Peter J. A.
A study identified stages of student writing maturation across several grades and developed classroom resources to enhance the maturation of students. A total of 3,600 essays written by students in grades 4 and 6-12 attending urban and rural schools in eastern Ontario, Canada, were holistically scored. The original limited and quite specific design of the study was altered, since each school system that agreed to participate had its own agenda. Analysis of narrative, fantasy, and explanatory essays investigated what students do (and do not do) when they write, how well they do it for particular features, and the relationship between the exhibition of particular features and stages in writing maturation. Descriptive analyses of the essays indicated that: (1) for personal narratives, the average performance at grade 8 was equal to that of grade 9 advanced students; (2) for writing fantasy, few students above grade 6 were willing to risk the imaginative (fantastical) enterprise; and (3) for explanatory writing, stages of maturation did not seem as pronounced as they did for personal narrative--most aspects of the task seemed to be well within the ability of many writers by grade 6. Based on the findings of the study, supplementary units for the writing program responsive to the stages discerned were developed. Additionally, in response to patterns of error frequency discerned, unit series for the sentence, the verb, and spelling were developed. (Essay prompts, categories and scales for descriptive analysis, 11 tables of data, and an error frequency study for grades 4-10 are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (81st, Seattle, WA, November 22-27, 1991).