This study examined the effects of goal setting on the essays of 7th- and Sth-grade students with writing and learning disabilities. Participants wrote 3 essays, responding to a different goal for each. One half of the students used a strategy to facilitate goal attainment. Goals were designed to increase either the number of reasons supporting a paper's premise or the number of counterarguments refuted by the writer, or both. Papers written in response to goals were longer, included more supporting reasons, and were qualitatively better than essays written by students in the control condition. Students were also more likely to refute counterarguments when assigned a goal that focused on this specific element. Strategy use enhanced performance only when students were responding to a goal to refute more counterarguments. Students' writing self-efficacy was not influenced by goal setting or strategy use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology