In the present study, participants were 127 3rd-grade students, to 64 of whom (33 boys, 31 girls) the authors taught a general strategy and a genre-specific strategy for planning and writing stories; procedures for regulating the use of these strategies, the writing process, and their writing behaviors; and knowledge about the basic purpose and characteristics of good stories. The other 63 3rd-grade students (30 boys, 33 girls) formed the comparison group and received traditional-skills writing instruction (mostly on spelling, grammar, and so forth). Strategy-instructed students wrote stories that were longer, schematically stronger, and qualitatively better. Strategy-instructed students maintained over a short period of time the gains that they had made from pretest to posttest. In addition, the impact of story-writing strategy instruction transferred to writing a similar but untaught genre, that of a narrative about a personal experience. Strategy-instructed students wrote longer, schematically stronger, and qualitatively better personal narratives than did children in the control condition.
- Composition, strategy instruction, writing
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