The Effects of Revision Instruction On Eighth Graders' Persuasive Writing
Wise, William G.
Slater, Wayne H.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teacher-guided direct revision instruction and small group peer generated revision on the quality of eighth grade students ' persuasive essays. Teacher directed revision instruction was direct instruction by the teacher in the use of additions, deletions, substitutions and rearrangements and in the use of the compare, diagnose, operate (CDO) procedure. Small-group peer generated revision included researcher organized small-group cooperative learning activities during which peers read, responded to, and made suggestions for changes to improve essay drafts. Control group subjects were given instruction in persuasive writing, were asked to respond to the persuasive writing prompt, and were told to revise their essays. This study was a pretest, posttest, control group design utilizing six, intact, average reading/language arts class groups, 134 subjects, from grade eight. The pretest was the students' first draft, and the posttest was a final draft. The six classes participating in the study included two classes in each of three different schools with the research and control group schools being randomly assigned. The duration of the treatment was for six consecutive class periods. As a final activity, all students were given 30 minutes to write a final draft. The results of the study indicated that the Direct Instruction Group and the Small-Group students were rated significantly higher for quality (p < .05) than were the students in the Control Group (only directions to revise). All groups utilized a variety of revision levels, but results indicated significant correlations between quality and surface level revisions (p < .001), between quality and lexical level revisions (p < .01), and between quality and sentence level revisions (p < .01).