ERIC Number: ED211980
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Examining Word Use to Assess Growth in Essay Writing. Second Revision.
Twenty 10th grade students participated in a study designed to identify differences in the ways developing writers use words to create written texts. Essays written by the students were holistically evaluated and then analyzed for the types and the number of lexical cohesive ties used and the nature of the grammatical subject, or focus, of each clause. The analysis of lexical cohesion in the 9 high-rated and 11 low-rated essays showed large differences. In the low-rated essays, the total number of lexical ties constituted 15% of the total number of words, while the total number of words entering into lexical ties constituted 25% of the total number of words. In the high-rated essays, the total number of lexical ties constituted 21% of the total number of words, while the total number of words entering into lexical ties constituted 44% of the total number of words. The analysis of the grammatical subjects of clauses also revealed large differences between the two groups of writers. Of the total number of 121 clauses in the low-rated essays, 81% were pronominal in nature. In contrast, of the 154 subjects of clauses in the high-rated essays, only 51% were pronominal. The results suggest that the writers of the high-rated essays were clearly using words to create meaning in different ways than were the writers of the low-rated papers. (Copies of essays and their ratings are appended.) (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 Conference on Language Development (6th, Boston, MA, October 1981).