LINGUIST List 15.1515

Thu May 13 2004

Diss: Applied Ling: Roberts: 'Individualized...'

Editor for this issue: Tomoko Okuno <>


  1. david, Individualized Writing Instruction in Southern West Virginia...

Message 1: Individualized Writing Instruction in Southern West Virginia...

Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 19:35:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: david <>
Subject: Individualized Writing Instruction in Southern West Virginia...

Institution: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Program: Rhetoric and Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1982

Author: David Harrill Roberts

Dissertation Title:
Individualized Writing Instruction in Southern West Virginia Colleges:
A Study of the Acquisition of Writing Fluency

Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics

Dissertation Director 1: Patrick M. Hartwell
Dissertation Director 2: Frank T. Como
Dissertation Director 3: James M. DeGray

Dissertation Abstract:

Individualized writing instruction was compared with classroom writing
instruction at Bluefield StateCollege and Southern West Virginia
Community College, as a preliminary model of cross---institutional
research. The effects of individualized writing instruction and
conventional classroom writing instruction were compared at three
levels: basic writing and the two semesters of the freshman
composition sequence at the two colleges. The effects of the two
instructional modes on writing apprehension and on the students'
concepts of the nature of the writing process were also compared. Five
null hypotheses were tested for significance at the .05 level of
confidence to determine significant differences in the effects of the
two modes of instruction. Of the 124 students in the study, 79
received individualized instruction and 45 received conventional
classroom instruction.

Three of the null hypotheses concerned writing quality as measured by
holistic scoring, forced-choice scoring, and T-unit length. The other
null hypotheses concerned writing apprehension and the students'
concepts of the nature of writing, as measured by a writing
apprehension test and three questions to determine the level of the
students' under standing of writing. Only one null hypothesis was
rejected with 95% confidence. The classroom group wrote significantly
longer T-units on the posttest writing sample (p = .0 There were no
other signi ficant differences between the effects of the two modes of

Findings of earlier work on the relationship of essay length to
holistic scoring (Nold & Freedman, 1977; S. Freedman, 1979; Grobe,
1981) are supported by the data of the present study. The value of
holistic scoring in judging writing quality is questioned. A call for
future research urges an increase in the number of naturalistic
studies that do not rely on holistic scoring as the primary method of
assessing writing quality. Cross-institutional writing research is
found to be a workable and effective means of stydying writing and
conducting surveys of writing apprehension levels across wide
geographical areas, at a minimal cost. Recommendations for conducting
further cross-institutional research include utilizing the six
instruments developed by the CCCC Committee on Teaching and Its
Evaluation in Composition (1982), a modification of the Daly and
Miller writing apprehension survey (l975a), and a writing concept
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