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The effects of word processing and two common instructional methods on the essay revisions of twelfth grade students

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Statement of the problem. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction between two common instructional methods--the use of editing questions and the use of models--and word processing in the revisions of twelfth-grade students. This study addressed the following questions: Will students' revisions of analytical essays be significantly affected by the used of word processing? Will students' revisions be significantly affected by the use of editing questions or writing models? And will there be a significant interaction between instructional method and computer use? Methods. A sample of 33 twelfth-grade students wrote four essays under four different conditions: word processing with model essays, word processing with editing questions, non-word processing with model essays, and non-word processing with editing questions. The resulting rough and final drafts were scored holistically, according to idea/example count, and according to error count. A statistical analysis of the differences between rough draft scores and final draft scores was then conducted using ANOVA and $t$-scores. Results. Holistic scores and idea/example counts for the final drafts were significantly greater than those for corresponding rough drafts, but there was no significant decrease in error/example counts. The study did not demonstrate a significant difference in changes in the three scores between rough and final drafts among the four conditions. The study did demonstrate a significantly higher idea/example count and error count for the final drafts of essays written with word processing. Conclusions. The study indicates that the use of word processing does affect the student's composition process but will not necessarily improve the quality of the student's writing or the quality of student revisions.



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