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The Effects of Mastery of Editing Peers’ Writing on the Functional Writing and Self-Editing Repertoires of Third Graders

Pellegren, Haley Elizabeth

I used a multiple-probe design across two groups of 4 participants to test the effects of the mastery of editing peer writing on participant’s writing and self-editing skills. Participants included 8 third grade students who did not have functional writing skills in 4 subject areas of technical writing. These participants also lacked self-editing skills. The primary dependent measure was the number of rewrites to criterion for writing assignments as measured by the number of accurate functional writing components. Participants had to write to fulfill a set of functional writing requirements, defined in a checklist, and then had to observe the effects of his or her writing on the behavior of a naive reader. The criterion for the rewrites to criterion measure was writing at 100% functional accuracy and 90% structural accuracy in 1 rewrite attempt. The second dependent measure was accurate self-editing skills across functional and structural writing components. Participants were required to edit the functional and structural components in their own writing assignments using an algorithm provided in a checklist. The criterion for self-editing was set at 90% functional accuracy and 90% structural accuracy for each assignment. Structural writing included 6 grammatical components; complete sentences, spelling, subject-verb agreement, punctuation, capitalization and word usage. The independent variable was the mastery of a peer-editing intervention procedure. Participants were taught how to edit peer’s functional and structural writing through written feedback provided by the experimenters on his or her editing. Experimenters did not communicate with the peer writers throughout the intervention and participants never served as writers during the intervention. Peer writers wrote in response to the participant’s feedback until the participant met criterion on editing for functional and structural accuracy. Criterion for the intervention was met when the peer writer wrote at 100% functional and 90% structural accuracy on the first attempt across two consecutive writing pieces. This meant that the participant mastered the editing intervention for both functional and structural editing. Results of the study showed that all participants decreased their number of rewrites to criterion in post-intervention probe measures which was a measure of functional writing. Results also showed that all participants increased their functional and structural editing skills while editing their own writing. Results are discussed in terms significance to the research of behavior analysis and research in education. Limitations and suggestions for future research are be discussed, followed by a conclusion and the educational impact of the results from this experiment.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, R. Douglas
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 11, 2015