Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Linda Silvernail


This single-case study was designed to evaluate the effects of autonomous text choice on reading motivation and reading comprehension in underperforming sixth-grade students. This study was built upon the theoretical framework constructed using self-determination theory, situational expectancy–value theory, and culturally relevant pedagogy. Study participants were asked to read a text of their choice for ten minutes each day. Once a week, study participants were observed during their reading time for off-task behaviors to frame discussions on student engagement with their chosen texts, and every other week during the course of the intervention, participants were provided with an opportunity to give feedback on their perspectives through surveys and interviews. Upon conclusion of the study, quantitative data was analyzed, and qualitative data was coded and used to evaluate emerging themes. The quantitative and qualitative data were then compared to triangulate the results of the study. These results demonstrated that autonomous text choice did increase reading motivation in general, with specific increases in intrinsic reading motivation. While some gains in reading comprehension were noted, this study was inconclusive on the effects of autonomous text choice reading on reading comprehension, although some positive gains were noted.