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We designed and investigated the first set of instructional procedures we are aware of to teach 4th and 5th grade students how to write a persuasive essay following close reading of a source text. Eight boys and girls attending a diverse, low income school who were having difficulty learning to write participated in an experimental multiple-baseline design study. Self-regulated strategy development instruction for close reading of informational text and writing to persuade was situated in the writing process and included discussion, modeling, explicit instruction, scaffolding, collaboration among peers and with teachers, self-regulation of the writing process and affect, and additional components and characteristics. Outcome measures included genre elements, holistic quality, number of words written, and complexity of plans for writing. All students showed meaningful gains on the writing outcomes, with the exception of length, which varied, as predicted. Limitations and directions for future research are considered.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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