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ERIC Number: ED559568
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 139
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3033-0061-5
The Impact of Identifying a Specific Purpose and External Audience for Writing on Second Graders' Writing Quality
Block, Meghan K.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (CCSS) emphasize the importance of writing and specify that students should write for external, and, at times, unfamiliar audiences. Given the relationship between audience specification and quality writing in older students, it seemed possible that giving young children an external audience and a specific purpose for their writing might also yield higher writing quality. The study addressed the question: How does the quality of young children's writing for both specified and unspecified purposes compare when writing for an internal audience versus writing for an external audience? The study used a within-subjects design to compare writing quality when second-grade students wrote for internal versus external audiences and for specified versus unspecified purposes. The study found that children are more likely to produce higher quality writing when writing for an external audience than for their teacher. When writing for an external audience, children had higher holistic scores and also had higher primary trait scores including focus, accuracy, details, illustrations complementing text, language of informational texts, addressing the audience, and navigational features; however, for navigational features there was an interaction effect as well. Additionally, when writing for an external audience, children included more generic noun constructions and generic verb constructions in their informative/explanatory writings. Although purpose did not have a statistically significant effect on writing quality, a specified purpose did have a statistically significant effect on amount of revision. This study suggests the need for a shift in for whom children write in school and why. In addition, this study suggests that assessments will elicit children's best writing when they establish an audience beyond the teacher and have a specified purpose. [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; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A