Self -regulatory writing strategies of high achieving and low achieving preservice students

Mary Ellen Sullivan, Fordham University


This study examined the self-regulatory writing behaviors of high achieving and low achieving preservice writers. The study will address the following: (a) the nature of the self-regulatory writing strategies employed by high achieving and low achieving preservice writers and (b) the similarities and differences in self-regulatory writing strategies used by these two groups. Furthermore, the understanding of writing as a problem-solving activity will be discussed. The study was conducted at a liberal arts college. Participants were students enrolled in the teacher education program who had taken the Liberal Arts and Sciences Exam at least once during the 2004-2005 academic year. Students were categorized high achieving and low achieving writers based upon their scaled score for the written constructed response of this exam. Anyone who received above 220 was classified as a high achieving writer while those who received below a 220 were identified as low achieving writers. A random sampling of each group was conducted to identify 5 participants in each group. Think-aloud protocols were used to record the composing processes of these writers as they completed a practice written task. Additionally, each participant was asked to respond to a post think-aloud question. The findings demonstrate that the high achieving preservice writers used the self-regulatory categories of planning, monitoring, and evaluating more frequently than the low achieving preservice writers. Additionally, the high achieving writers used a wider variety of self-regulatory strategies than the low achieving writers. Statistical significance was found for the categories of monitoring and evaluating. It can be concluded that high achieving preservice writers and low achieving preservice writers differed in the declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge of the composing process. These differences influenced how participants used the self-regulatory strategies during the completion of the writing task. Future research should examine the self-regulatory writing behaviors of these groups of writers over a longer period of time. This research should include the completion of several written tasks that reflect various modes of discourse. Furthermore, the impact of self-regulatory strategies on writing achievement should be examined.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Rhetoric|Composition

Recommended Citation

Sullivan, Mary Ellen, "Self -regulatory writing strategies of high achieving and low achieving preservice students" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3210286.