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ERIC Number: ED533063
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Writer's Workshop vs. Writing Prompts: The Effect on First Graders' Writing Ability and Attitude towards Writing
Carroll, Stacy; Feng, Jay
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Georgia Educational Research Association (Savannah, GA, Oct 22-23, 2010)
In the county schools, students are assessed every nine weeks based on a writing prompt using a rubric supplied by the county, but the students are often taught using Writer's Workshop. This action research attempted to determine if Writer's Workshop and the use of writing prompts have different effects on first graders' writing ability and attitudes. Eighteen students (N=18) in a first grade class were randomly split into two groups, and during a 5-week period each group was taught writing in a different method. One group received instruction on writing a persuasive paper using a prompt, and another received instruction on writing a persuasive paper with a free-choice of topic. The students were then assessed on their writing ability and attitude towards writing at the end of instruction. A series of t-tests and item analysis was conducted to compare writing ability and attitude between the two groups. The results showed that both Group A (prompted) and Group B (free-choice) experienced a decline in overall attitude about writing over the course of the study. Group A (prompted), however, experienced more of a decline than Group B (free-choice). It appears that students get slightly more enjoyment out of choosing their topic than being told what to write. The overall scores on the final persuasive writing showed that students taught using a prompt scored better than those with free-choice (11.56 greater than 9.78). The only subcategory where Group B (free-choice) scored higher than Group A (prompted) was in conventions. (Ideas: 4.89 greater than 3.56; Organization 2.56 greater than 2.11; Style 2.22 greater than 2.00; Conventions: 1.89 less than 2.11). It also shows that students who write better enjoy the writing process more. Overall, the scores on the Writing Assessment were better from those students receiving a prompt. When students are given the freedom to write what they choose, they have a more positive attitude towards writing. This study indicates that free choice writing and prompted writing both have a place in the classroom. In order to teach a specific type of writing (i.e. persuasive, narrative, informational) students need prompts and clear instructions. However, if we are to foster a life-long love of writing, classroom teachers need to set aside time for students to write what they want to write about and share with others. Elementary Writing Attitude Survey and Persuasive Writing Rubric--Grade 1 are appended. (Contains 9 tables and 1 figure.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia