NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1061891
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
The Relationship of Discourse and Topic Knowledge to Fifth Graders' Writing Performance
Olinghouse, Natalie G.; Graham, Steve; Gillespie, Amy
Journal of Educational Psychology, v107 n2 p391-406 May 2015
This study examined whether discourse and topic knowledge separately predicted the overall quality and the inclusion of basic genre elements in 5th grade students' stories, persuasive papers, and informational text once the other type of knowledge as well as topic interest, spelling, handwriting fluency, length of text, and gender were controlled. Fifty students (25 girls, 25 boys) wrote a story, persuasive paper, and informative text about outer space. In addition, students' discourse knowledge, knowledge about the writing topic, interest in the topic, and handwriting fluency were measured. Discourse knowledge made a unique and statistically significant contribution to the prediction of the quality and inclusion of genre-specific elements in story, persuasive, and informational writing beyond topic knowledge and 5 control variables (i.e., gender, topic interest, handwriting fluency, spelling accuracy, and text length). Topic knowledge also predicted story, persuasive, and informational writing quality beyond discourse knowledge and the 5 control variables. Further, topic knowledge predicted the inclusion of genre-specific elements in informational text. These findings supported the proposition that discourse and topic knowledge are important ingredients in children's writing and provided support for the architecture of the knowledge-telling model (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1987).
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A