Friday, September 17, 2010

Research Topic: Research Briefs

Purpose of this blog: Review of interesting articles and ideas in English education journals, K-12.

10-second review: Marking errors in compositions.Models, and process in writing.

Title: : “Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” RL Larson and A Bechan. Research in the Teaching of English (May 1992), p. 211-234.

Marking Errors in Compositions
“Investigates whether basing grades on the number of errors in their compositions is effective. Error data were collected from four graded essays from each of 311 students in two writing courses (one in exposition, the other in argument). Results showed a 50% reduction in errors, with the students making the most impressive gains in the first course (exposition), indicating that the rigorous error-count system of the school is getting positive results. Conclusions of this study are that marking papers does decrease errors….” RH Bentley. 1991. Pp. 223-224. [Comment: Of course, teaching composition is much more than counting errors, but that’s a part of it, and this study legitimizes error correction as part of composition instruction. RayS.]

Models, Processes and Computers in Composition Instruction.
Reports on a study to determine whether instruction in the uses of models and composing processes…in a defined writing task…and whether computer-assisted instruction would give further help. …concludes that instruction using models and process does produce improvement…. Instruction in models and processes does result in an improved ‘product.’” T Bacig, et al. 1991. P. 225. [Comment: That final sentence ending with “improved product” is what I have wanted to see when anyone mentions the “writing process.” I have always felt that the writing process should produce an improved product. I also have believed that using models helps students become comfortable with unfamiliar writing structures. For example, when students needed to learn how to write a cover letter and a resume for employment, I always showed them how to use models. RayS.]

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