A structural equation model of the writing process in typically-developing sixth grade children
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate how sixth grade children planned, translated, and revised written narrative stories using a task reflecting current instructional and assessment practices. A modified version of the Hayes and Flower (1980) writing process model was used as the theoretical framework for the study. Two hundred one sixth-grade students participated in a three-day writing task. On the first day they generated ideas for their story, on the second day they produced a first draft, and on the third day they revised their draft to produce a final copy. Scores from each day’s writing were used as measured variables representing the latent variables of planning, translating, and revising. Confirmatory structural equation modeling results suggested that the latent variable of planning had a moderate relationship to translating and that translating had a stronger than expected relationship with revising. Significant paths between measured and latent variables demonstrated the relative contribution of skills towards the writing process. The approach used in this study highlighted the linear manner in which intermediate grade children write. Findings suggest that planning had a direct effect on translating, but no direct effect on revising. There was a strong relationship between translating and revising, suggesting few differences between students’ first and final drafts.
KeywordsWriting Writing process Children Planning Revising Assessment
This work was funded, in part, by a Graduate Professional Student Association Research Support Award at Arizona State University. Many thanks to the students, families, and teachers who participated in this study. Thanks to the Gilbert and Scottsdale school districts for granting research approval. Special thanks to all the research assistants who analyzed the written samples collected for this study. Many thanks to Roy Levy, Heather Harris Wright, and M. Jeanne Wilcox for their feedback on this manuscript. These data were collected as part of Anthony D. Koutsoftas’ doctoral dissertation project.
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