ERIC Number: ED276058
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr-19
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Prewriting on Literary Interpretation.
Reilly, Jill M.; And Others
A study examined the effects of treatment (guided vs. nonguided prewriting assignments) on the quality of college freshmen's interpretation of the character/setting relationships in two short stories. Subjects, 52 students in two college freshman composition classes, were randomly assigned to an experimental group (required to make inferences about characters and settings) and a control group (asked to complete factual information questions). Findings indicated that the experimental group produced final essays superior to those produced by the control group. Results also showed that guided prewriting activities may be more beneficial in preparing students to write interpretative essays, which involve more initial analysis and organization of ideas, rather than expository essays. In a second study, students in eighth and eleventh grade English classes, as well as freshman and junior college students, read the stories and completed a guided prewriting assignment (experimental group) or answered questions about the story's characters (control group). Like the first study, findings indicated that the experimental group at all grade levels produced final essays of superior quality to those produced by the control groups. Findings further indicated that the effects of prewriting did not vary significantly with grade level: both secondary and college experimental groups benefited more than their respective control groups. (Statistical tables are appended.) (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).