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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparison group study on the effects of instruction in writing heuristics on the expository writing of E.S.L. students Strong, Gregory Butler


This research addressed two major questions: (1) what effect does instruction in writing heuristics have on the expository writing of E.S.L. students? (2) is one writing heuristic better than another? In an experiment involving 116 twelfth-graders in eight classes, the subjects were randomly assigned within classes to one of three groups. Each of the three groups received ten hours of instruction: two groups in writing heuristics, and a third group which served as an experimental control received instruction in grammar. The study was a pretest/posttest design where essays were administered as the tests. The students' essays were scored for quantity (number of words) and quality. Scores were analyzed in a repeated measures design. The results revealed that there were no significant differences between the three groups on either the quantitative or qualitative measures. Although a review of the literature indicated support for the use of writing heuristics with E.S.L. students, the experimental evidence in this study does not substantiate this view.

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