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Examining the Impact of Student Choice of Writing Topic on Writing Production and Accuracy

Amanda A Bleck, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of the current study was to determine if allowing students to choose their story topic would impact their writing production (Total Words Written; TWW) or writing accuracy (Correct Writing Sequences; CWS and Percent Correct Writing Sequences; %CWS). Additionally, this study examined if the impact of choice of writing topic had a differential impact on different groups of students, such as males versus females and special education versus general education students. Eighty-three ninth-grade students who attended a public high school in the Midwest participated in this study. Student writing samples were collected on four separate occasions, and the data were either statistically analyzed, using t-tests, Mann-Whitney U Tests, or two-way within-subjects analyses of variance, or descriptive statistics were calculated to answer each research question. Overall, results indicated that choice of writing topic did not significantly impact student writing production or accuracy between experimental groups, and choice did not appear to cause a noticeable difference between experimental groups with special education or general education students. However, a significant interaction effect was found between choice and gender during one week of data collection, and over half of all participants in the study exhibited an improvement in at least TWW or %CWS in one of their writing samples during a Choice condition phase. Implications for practice and directions for future research will be discussed.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Bleck, Amanda A, "Examining the Impact of Student Choice of Writing Topic on Writing Production and Accuracy" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3566304.