Collaborative peer group writing of persuasive essays by fifteen eighth-grade students

Clifford Joseph Williams, Fordham University


This study examined the nature and effects of student collaborative writing by 15 eighth graders. In a 6-week period, two classes wrote six persuasive essays, each on varying self selected topics from five assigned categories. The categories were: personal, school, community, state, and national. The first category was repeated as the focus of the sixth essay to permit comparisons. The kind of talk that occurs in collaborative groups, its effect on ideas, quality, and topic development; the social strategies, and the patterns and processes that develop, and student attitudes toward writing were the primary concerns of this study. Audio tapes documented the talk. The Adapted Guides for Evaluating Persuasive Writing were used to assess students' essays and the researcher modified the ETS Composition Evaluation Scales assessed ideas, organization, usage, mechanics, and spelling. Three mini-case studies provided a comparison of individual students. The study finds that most eighth graders in collaborative writing groups wrote effective persuasive essays while engaging in on-task and off-task talk and behavior.

Subject Area

Language arts|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Williams, Clifford Joseph, "Collaborative peer group writing of persuasive essays by fifteen eighth-grade students" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9412157.