Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Paper

Superseded Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Special Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, O.S.F.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Writing--Study and teaching; Students with disabilities; Special education


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) on the writing of students with exceptional education needs. Would teaching the methods of SRSD to seventh-grade students with exceptional education needs prove valuable in improving the clarity and quality of their writing? In order to determine the effects of this approach on students’ writing, four students wrote one persuasive essay and one research report during the 2013 - 2014 academic year (pre-instruction in SRSD). These essays were evaluated by the researcher and self-evaluated by each student according to an evaluation rubric (see Appendix A) based on the work of Harris, Graham, Mason, and Friedlander (2008, p. 373). Students then received instruction in SRSD. The instruction aimed to increase meta-cognition, teach students specific self-talk and self-monitoring skills, and provide explicit instruction in composition development and revision strategies for persuasive essays and research reports. Upon completion of each unit of instruction (research report and persuasive essay), the students wrote a corresponding essay and or revised an existing one using the strategies that were taught. These essays were then evaluated by the researcher and self-evaluated by each student according to the same evaluation rubric. The pre-, and post-instruction writing scores were then compared to determine whether any statistically significant improvement occurred. By evaluating the effectiveness of this instruction, I was able to determine whether I should continue using this method with students. This research will contribute to educators’ understanding of how the SRSD approach works and its effectiveness with seventh-grade students with exceptional education needs. Other educators would be able to use the results of this research to aid in their decision of whether they should spend valuable class time teaching this writing method. If SRSD should prove useful with this population, more educators may devote their time and resources to learning and teaching this method; if not, educators could more efficiently spend their time following another method or plan for teaching writing skills.


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