ERIC Number: ED194894
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Writing in the College Years: Some Indices of Growth.
Freedman, Aviva; Pringle, Ian
An exploratory study was conducted to define broadly some indices of student writing development. Student essays prepared by high school seniors and third-year university students outside the classroom were collected for analysis. The essays were drawn from four disciplines--English literature, history, geography, and biology--and represented the range of student writing in those classes (two essays for each grade of "A" through "F" when possible). A syntactic instrument, a rhetorical scale, and a cognitive measure were used to analyze and compare the essays. Development proved the most significant factor in determining grade although in simple correlations with grade all the other rhetorical criteria correlated directly as well. In contrast, there was no significant relationship between level of abstracting and grade. There proved to be no significant correlation between grade level and any of the rhetorical criteria except register, indicating that college work was no more organized, developed, or coherent than the high school essays. In contrast, the level of abstracting did correlate significantly with grade level. Thus, the instructors' marks correlated directly with performance on traditional rhetorical criteria but not with the level of abstracting, the cognitive index. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (69th, San Francisco, CA, November 22-24, 1979).