The effects of elaboration on community college students' execution of a reading-writing task
AuthorSchlumberger, Ann Lewis.
AdvisorMitchell, Judy N.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractElaborative processing is important to the study of reading-to-write tasks because of its function in the integration of new knowledge. This study investigated whether assisting students to generate intra- and intertextual elaborations on source texts would (1) result in their writing essays in which textual information was transformed according to a personal purpose, and (2) result in their showing more metacognitive consciousness about their reading/writing processes. The pedagogical methodology was developed through analyzing the think-aloud protocols of six students writing from sources. Subsequently, two intact classes of first-semester freshman composition students attending community college composed essays from three autobiographical source texts. The experimental group was prompted to generate personal associations and new ideas from the source texts as well as to criticize ideas in them. Students in the experimental group were also encouraged to draw a diagram relating the three source texts to each other and to the students' own experiences. Students' annotations, notes, and essays were parsed into idea units and tallied according to categories of elaborations identified by Stein (1990a, c). Essays were also holistically scored for writing quality and organizational plan. Finally, students' free written responses to the task were analyzed and types of comments were tallied. Prompting students to elaborate is associated with their producing greater numbers of elaborations in their annotations. In the present study, however, no significant differences were found between the types of essays each group produced, in the types and percentages of elaborations present in their papers, or in the quality of their papers. However, members of the group receiving training in elaboration were better able to articulate the unifying concepts and organizational plans of their essays. Training in elaboration also seemed to heighten these students' interest in writing from sources. Future research on how elaboration affects the execution of reading-to-write tasks might involve more clearly prompting students to synthesize information from sources as well as giving them more extensive experience with elaboration techniques.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture