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ERIC Number: ED546078
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 114
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-8813-5
Graphics in Children's Informational Texts: A Content Analysis
Fingeret, Lauren
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
This dissertation is comprised of two manuscripts resulting from a single study, which examines a) the types of graphics that appear, and in what frequencies, in children's informational texts, and b) the defining features of different graphics. Graphics are ubiquitous in children's informational texts and a lot is known about the impact of graphics on comprehension and learning. In spite of this, very little is known about what types of graphics appear in these texts. Through a content analysis, this study involved analyzing and codifying the graphics in 8 textbooks, 142 leveled readers, and 126 trade books that were in science or social studies domains and appropriate for use in 2nd and 3rd grade. Each graphic (12,238) was coded for specific type and function in the text (decorational, representational, organizational, interpretational, transformational, or extensional). Major findings included identification of 59 graphic types, which collapsed into 8 meta-type categories: diagrams, flow diagrams, graphs, timelines, maps, tables, and images, and simple photographs. Images and simple photographs accounted for nearly 90% of graphics, 30% of graphics represent written text, and 60% of graphics contain information not found in written text. Some statistically significant differences occurred across book types and between domains. These findings have implications for instruction and further research on visual literacy, and the details of graphic types contribute to a working typology of graphics found in informational texts. The first manuscript focuses on the research questions regarding what graphics, and in what numbers, appear in children's informational texts and the differences between types of text and domain. This manuscript, which is intended for publication in a research journal, includes a detailed argument regarding the importance of the study with regard to extant literature and the methods used. The paper contains descriptions of the graphic types and functions, as well as quantitative results, but the focus is on statistical findings. The second manuscript is intended for publication in a practitioner journal. It summarizes the methods of the study and provides a brief survey of the quantitative data. In this paper, the focus is on the qualitative descriptions of the graphic types, categories, and functions, including visual examples. These descriptions can potentially contribute to a working graphic typology. This paper also addresses the implications of the data with regard to instruction, which includes a look at some of the challenges graphics may pose to students. The findings from this study have implications for instruction as well as future research on instruction. These findings may also be of interest to authors, illustrators, and publishers, who choose the graphics that appear in texts. This data is confined to graphics and texts; many questions remain about learning from, and teaching with, graphics. There is also a need for research on graphics in informational texts at different grade levels. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A