Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Nathaniel Bryan

Abstract

This dissertation in practice outlines an action research project that attempted to answer the research question: what impact does peer-revision have on students' writing performance? This question is predicated on the idea that writing instruction in middle school English-Language Arts (ELA) classrooms is not always adequate. Writing often suffers due to many reasons, and out of all aspects of writing, it is often the instruction and practice of revision that suffers the most. This research project followed Mertler’s (2014) four-phase action research process, with phases being broken down further into nine steps: identifying the topic, gathering information, reviewing the related literature, developing a research plan, implementing the plan, analyzing the data, developing an action plan, sharing and communicating the results, and reflecting on the process. Students in a middle school ELA classroom were given two writing prompts. For the first prompt, students edited their own papers. For the second prompt, students worked with partners. The results showed significant improvement in writing performance when students worked together, and adds to the body of research that suggests that students can benefit from cooperative learning techniques such as peer revision.

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