Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Nebraska Educator, Volume 5 (2020), pp.4-24.

ISSN 2375-6853

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.ne001


© 2020 University of Nebraska


EmPOWER is a six-stage writing intervention designed by speech-language pathologists to improve the expository writings of school-aged children with language learning and executive function disabilities. The intervention uses scaffolded instruction to transform struggling students into independent and self-regulating writers by training the students to use a variety of supports (e.g., graphic organizers, checklists) and strategies (e.g., referring back to the writing prompt) throughout the writing process. Many key features of the EmPOWER approach to writing instruction directly support components described in cognitive models of writing, which indicates that EmPOWER is a theory-guided writing intervention that may benefit a wide range of individuals beyond just school-aged children. Thus, this analysis provides an overview of the EmPOWER approach, compares the intervention’s key features to the most recent conceptualization of the cognitive mechanisms involved in the writing process, and provides a discussion for adapting EmPOWER to a specific population (i.e., people with aphasia).