Search by topic, keyword, or author
Baker, S., Gersten, R., & Graham, S. (2003). Teaching expressive writing to students with learning disabilities: Research-based applications and examples. Journal of learning disabilities, 36(2), 109-123.
- This article presents research-based examples of effective instructional approaches for improving the quality of the content of stories and essays written by students with learning disabilities. We also describe recent research on handwriting and spelling (transcription skills) and show how instruction in these areas affects overall writing quality.
Benjamin, S., & Wagner, M. (2021). Developing accomplished writers: Lessons from recent research. Phi Delta Kappan, 102(6), 44-49.
Berninger, V. W., Abbott, R. D., Thomson, J. B., & Raskind, W. H. (2001). Language phenotype for reading and writing disability: A family approach. Scientific studies of reading, 5(1), 59-106.
- A theory-driven battery of 23 psychometric measures of reading, writing, and related language processes was administered to 102 probands (affected children in Grades 1 to 6 with documented reading problems, writing problems, or both) and both of their biological parents. Affected children and parents were compared on the structural relationships between related language processes (Verbal IQ [VIQ], orthographic, phonological, and rapid naming skills), component reading, (accuracy, rate, comprehension) and writing (handwriting, spelling, composition) skills.
Berninger, V. W., & O'Malley May, M. (2011). Evidence-based diagnosis and treatment for specific learning disabilities involving impairments in written and/or oral language. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44(2), 167-183.
- Programmatic, multidisciplinary research provided converging brain, genetic, and developmental support for evidence-based diagnoses of three specific learning disabilities based on hallmark phenotypes (behavioral expression of underlying genotypes) with treatment relevance: dysgraphia (impaired legible automatic letter writing, orthographic coding, and finger sequencing), dyslexia (impaired pseudoword reading, spelling, phonological and orthographic coding, rapid automatic naming, and executive functions; inhibition and rapid automatic switching), and oral and written language learning disability (same impairments as dyslexia plus morphological and syntactic coding and comprehension). Two case studies illustrate how these differential diagnoses can be made within a conceptual framework of a working memory architecture and generate treatment plans that transformed treatment nonresponders into treatment responders.
Chalk, J. C., Hagan-Burke, S., & Burke, M. D. (2005). The effects of self-regulated strategy development on the writing process for high school students with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 28(1), 75-87.
- The current study examined the effects of the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model on the writing performance of 15 high school sophomores with LD. Students were taught to apply the SRSD model as a strategy for planning and writing essays and to self-regulate their use of the strategy and the writing process. The effects of strategy instruction were examined using a repeated-measures design.
Coker Jr, D. L., & Kim, Y. S. G. (2018). Critical issues in the understanding of young elementary school students at risk for problems in written expression: Introduction to the special series. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 51(4), 315-319.
- In this introduction to the special series “Critical Issues in the Understanding of Young Elementary School Students at Risk for Problems in Written Expression,” we consider some of the contextual factors that have changed since a similar special issue was published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities in 2002.
De La Paz, S. (1997). Strategy instruction in planning: Teaching students with learning and writing disabilities to compose persuasive and expository essays. Learning Disability Quarterly, 20(3), 227-248.
- This article summarizes two intervention studies using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model of instruction. The major objective of the studies was to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching students with learning and writing disabilities an approach to planning persuasive essays before and during composing. An in-progress investigation will also be described, in which the planning strategy has been modified to accommodate a change in genre from persuasive to expository writing.
De La Paz, S. (1999). Composing via dictation and speech recognition systems: Compensatory technology for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 22(3), 173-182.
- This article provides a rationale for using an oral mode of production as a means of composing. For individuals with learning disabilities (LD), composing orally may allow them to circumvent transcription or text production problems (e.g., handwriting, spelling, punctuation), which in turn may allow greater focus on higher-order concerns such as planning and content generation. Support for this position comes from research on the use of dictation as well as studies of both simulated and existing speech recognition systems involving individuals with LD.
De La Paz, S. (1999). Self-regulated strategy instruction in regular education settings: Improving outcomes for students with and without learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 14(2), 92-106.
- Middle school students with and without learning disabilities were taught a strategy for planning and writing expository essays, using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development approach to instruction. Instructional procedures helped students to consider fully their topic in advance of composing and to use text structure knowledge to develop 5-paragraph essays. Students were instructed in procedures that encouraged planning throughout the composing process, as they set both process and content goals for writing. Changes in both writing performance and behavior were maintained over time.
De la Paz, S. (2001). Teaching writing to students with attention deficit disorders and specific language impairment. The Journal of Educational Research, 95(1), 37-47.
- The self-regulated strategy development approach to instruction was used to help 3 middle school students who had learning problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and specific language impairment, learn a strategy for planning and writing expository essays. The composition strategy helped students to consider their topic in advance and to use text structure knowledge to develop 5-paragraph essays. Instruction had a positive effect on the students’ approach to writing and overall writing performance. Four weeks following instruction, students’ papers remained improved and were still longer and more complete.
De La Paz, S., & Graham, S. (1997). Effects of dictation and advanced planning instruction on the composing of students with writing and learning problems. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(2), 203.
- The study examined the effects of dictation and explicit instruction in planning on the composing skills of students in 5th-, 6th-, and 7th- grade with learning disabilities.
De La Paz, S., Swanson, P. N., & Graham, S. (1998). The contribution of executive control to the revising by students with writing and learning difficulties. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(3), 448.
- This study examined thee role of executive control in the revising problems of 8th graders with writing and learning disabilities. The contribution of executive control was examined by providing students with executive support in carrying out the revising process. Compared with revising under normal conditions, executive support made the process of revising easier for students and improved their revising behavior.
Garcia, J. N., & De Caso, A. M. (2004). Effects of a motivational intervention for improving the writing of children with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 27(3), 141-159.
- Given that affective and cognitive processes interact in writing, it is important that interventions for developing writing ability focus both on strategies for developing motivation and cognitive processes. This article provides evidence for the efficacy of an instructional program that combines training in composition processes with strategies for developing motivation to achieve.
Gersten, R., & Baker, S. (2001). Teaching expressive writing to students with learning disabilities: A meta-analysis. The elementary school journal, 101(3), 251-272.
- We present results of a meta-analysis on writing interventions for students with learning disabilities and draw implications for practice. 13 studies designed to teach students with learning disabilities to write better expository or narrative text were analyzed. Results indicated that the interventions used in the research studies consistently produced strong effects on the quality of students' writing as well as students' sense of efficacy and understanding of the writing process.
- Findings suggested that 3 components should be part of any comprehensive instructional program. Explicit teaching of (a) the steps of the writing process and (b) the critical dimensions of different writing genres should be provided, as well as (c) structures for giving extensive feedback to students on the quality of their writing from either teachers or peers.
Graham, S. (1999). Handwriting and spelling instruction for students with learning disabilities: A review. Learning Disability Quarterly, 22(2), 78-98.
- Students with learning disabilities typically have difficulties with handwriting and spelling, and such difficulties can interfere with the execution of other composing processes, constrain writing development, and mark a child as a poor writer. In order to minimize the negative impact of handwriting and spelling difficulties, I propose that explicit and systematic instruction as well as incidental or natural learning approaches are needed to maximize the development or these two basic writing tools.
Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2002). Prevention and Intervention for Struggling Writers.
- Drawing on cartoon characters, the authors identify five factors that often limit the performance of struggling writers. These are: planning, idea generation, the transcription of word into print, revision, and knowledge of writing. These are examined from the perspective of implications for writing instruction, as the authors examine how schools can help struggling writers become skilled writers. Effective writing programs for struggling writers also must emphasize the processes that play a vital role in shaping and transforming a writer's capabilities. Although writing development is a complex and somewhat uncertain process, it depends upon changes that occur in the learner's motivation, knowledge about writing, and strategic behaviors (Alexander, Graham, & Harris, 1998).
- An effective program must include methods and procedures that amplify these students' writing knowledge, skill, will, and self-regulation. We further believe that writing instruction for these students must emphasize both prevention and intervention; respond to the specific needs of each student; maintain a healthy balance between meaning, process, and form; and employ both formal and informal learning methods (Graham & Harris, 1997). Principles for actualizing these beliefs are presented next.
Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2003). Students with learning disabilities and the process of writing: A meta-analysis of SRSD studies.
- They provide a meta-analysis of research using the SRSD model. This model has produced large effects sizes for students with and without LD, including strong positive effects on the quality, structure, and length of writing. The full SRSD model appears to be the most powerful related to measures of grammar, maintenance, and generalization.
Graham, S., Harris, K. R., Fink-Chorzempa, B., & MacArthur, C. (2003). Primary grade teachers' instructional adaptations for struggling writers: A national survey. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(2), 279.
- Primary grade teachers from across the United States were surveyed about their instructional adaptations for weaker writers. Although many teachers were sensitive to struggling writers' individual needs, there was a sizable percentage of teachers (42%) who made few or no adaptations. The most common adaptations made by teachers addressed students' difficulties with the mechanics of writing or writing processes, such as planning and revising. Other adaptations that were relatively common involved providing extra conferences, minilessons, and reteaching. Percentage of classroom students with special needs and amount of time students spend writing each week both made a significant contribution to predicting the number of adaptations reported by teachers, once the contribution of all other variables was controlled.
Graham, S., Harris, K. R., & Larsen, L. (2001). Prevention and intervention of writing difficulties for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16(2), 74-84.
- This paper presents six principles designed to prevent writing difficulties as well as to build writing skills: (a) providing effective writing instruction, (b) tailoring instruction to meet the individual needs, (c) intervening early, (d) expecting that each child will learn to write, (e) identifying and addressing roadblocks to writing, and (f) employing technologies.
Graham, S., Harris, K. R., & Mason, L. (2005). Improving the writing performance, knowledge, and self-efficacy of struggling young writers: The effects of self-regulated strategy development. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 30(2), 207-241.
- In the present study, the effectiveness of an instructional model, Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD), designed to foster development in each of these areas, was examined. Adding a peer support component to SRSD instruction to facilitate maintenance and generalization was also examined.
Graham, S., Hebert, M., Fishman, E., Ray, A. B., & Rouse, A. G. (2020). Do Children With Specific Language Impairment Have a Learning Disability in Writing? A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 1–19. DOI: 10.1177/0022219420917338.
- This meta-analysis examines whether children classified with specific language impairment (SLI) experience difficulties with writing. The study concluded that children with SLI experience difficulties in comparison in typically developing peers matched on age.
Hall-Mills, S., & Apel, K. (2013). Narrative and expository writing of adolescents with language-learning disabilities: A pilot study. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 34(3), 135-143.
- We evaluated the narrative and expository writing samples of 12 adolescents with language-learning disabilities (LLD) in Grades 6 to 12 for elements of microstructure (e.g., productivity, grammatical complexity) and macrostructure (genre-specific text structure elements) using an experimental measure.
- Wilcoxon signed ranks tests indicate that levels of productivity and grammatical complexity were significantly greater in the narrative genre than in the expository genre. However, participants’ writing samples demonstrated equally impoverished text structure for both genres. Positive correlations were found between microstructure and macrostructure performance. Findings confirm the effects of discourse genre on measures of microstructure and further elucidate the use of microstructure and macrostructure elements in the writing of adolescents with LLD.
Harris, K. R., Graham, S., & Mason, L. H. (2006). Improving the writing, knowledge, and motivation of struggling young writers: Effects of self-regulated strategy development with and without peer support. American educational research journal, 43(2), 295-340.
- SRSD had a positive impact on the writing performance and knowledge of struggling second-grade writers attending urban schools serving a high percentage of low-income families. In comparison with children in the Writers’ Workshop condition, SRSD-instructed students were more knowledgeable about writing and evidenced stronger performance in the two instructed genres (story and persuasive writing) as well as two uninstructed genres (personal narrative and informative writing).
Jacobson, L. T., & Reid, R. (2010). Improving the persuasive essay writing of high school students with ADHD. Exceptional Children, 76(2), 157-174.
- This study assesses the effectiveness of a persuasive essay-writing strategy taught by using the self-regulated strategy development model on the writing skills of 3 high school students with ADHD. Results indicate a marked improvement in the number of essay elements, length, and holistic quality of students' essays.
Kim, Y. S., Puranik, C., & Otaiba, S. A. (2015). Developmental trajectories of writing skills in first grade: Examining the effects of SES and language and/or speech impairments. The Elementary school journal, 115(4), 593-613.
- We examined growth trajectories of writing and the relation of children’s socioeconomic status and language and/or speech impairment to the growth trajectories.
Koutsoftas, A. D. (2016). Writing process products in intermediate-grade children with and without language-based learning disabilities. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 59(6), 1471-1483.
- Difficulties with written expression are an important consideration in the assessment and treatment of school-age children. This study evaluated how intermediate-grade children with and without written language difficulties fared on a writing task housed within the Hayes and Berninger (2014) writing process framework.
Koutsoftas, A. D., & Gray, S. (2012). Comparison of narrative and expository writing in students with and without language-learning disabilities. Language, speech, and hearing services in schools..
- Students with language-learning disabilities (LLD) demonstrate difficulties with written language, especially in the areas of productivity, complexity, and grammar. It is not clear how these deficits affect their performance on high-stakes tests, such as those required by the No Child Left Behind Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). This study used writing samples to compare how students with and without LLD scored on analytic writing measures that are typically used in writing research and on a more holistic measure of writing, the six-traits writing rubric (STWR; Education Northwest, 2006), which is used in high-stakes writing assessments.
Lienemann, T. O., & Reid, R. (2008). Using self-regulated strategy development to improve expository writing with students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Exceptional Children, 74(4), 471-486.
- This study investigated the effects of an expository writing strategy implemented using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development model on the writing skills of four, 4th- and 5th-grade students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
MacArthur, C. A., Ferretti, R. P., Okolo, C. M., & Cavalier, A. R. (2001). Technology applications for students with literacy problems: A critical review. The Elementary School Journal, 101(3), 273-301.
- This review covers research published in the past 15 years on the use of technology to teach or support literacy among students with mild disabilities. First, the review addresses research on computer-assisted instruction and on synthesized speech feedback to improve phonemic awareness and decoding skills. Second, it reviews work on the use of electronic texts to enhance comprehension by compensating for reading difficulties. Finally, it considers research on a variety of tools to support writing. The discussion addresses both substantive and methodological issues.
Mason, L. H., & Graham, S. (2008). Writing instruction for adolescents with learning disabilities: Programs of intervention research. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 23(2), 103-112.
- Programs of research in writing interventions for adolescents with LD, nevertheless, have provided frameworks for effective instruction for these students. Adapting criteria from Graham and Perin's (2007c)Writing Next report, 40 studies across six programs of research were located for our literature review in writing instruction for adolescents with LD. Based on the findings of these studies, instruction within two levels of support for adolescents with LD are recommended.
Mason, L. H., Kubina Jr, R. M., & Hoover, T. (2013). Effects of quick writing instruction for high school students with emotional disturbances. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 21(3), 163-175.
- High school students with emotional disturbances (ED) often struggle with classroom writing tasks. In this study, the effectiveness of Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) instruction for 10 min timed persuasive quick writes with three high school students with ED was investigated. Results indicated improvement in the areas of quality, response parts, and word count.
Mason, L. H., Harris, K. R., & Graham, S. (2011). Self-regulated strategy development for students with writing difficulties. Theory into practice, 50(1), 20-27.
- In this article, examples of SRSD instruction for planning, composing, and revision are described. Promising findings of recent research for students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are also highlighted. Finally, tips for effective classroom implementation are provided.
Mason, L. H., & Shriner, J. G. (2008). Self-regulated strategy development instruction for writing an opinion essay: Effects for six students with emotional/behavior disorders. Reading and Writing, 21(1-2), 71-93.
- A multiple-probe across-subjects design was used to examine persuasive writing performance of six 2nd- through 5th- grade students with emotional/behavior disorders (EBD). Students’ writing was evaluated before and after self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) instruction for the POW (Pick my idea, Organize my notes, Write and say more) + TREE (Topic sentence, Reasons – three or more, Ending, Examine) strategy.
- Students’ essays written during and immediately after instruction indicated that the students had learned to write independently a persuasive essay with five parts. Generalization and maintenance performance, however, varied across students and appeared to be associated with behavior as opposed to the inability to transfer or remember the strategy.
Mastropieri, M. A., Scruggs, T. E., Mills, S., Cerar, N. I., Cuenca-Sanchez, Y., Allen-Bronaugh, D., ... & Regan, K. (2009). Persuading students with emotional disabilities to write fluently. Behavioral Disorders, 35(1), 19-40.
- A multiple-baseline design study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of strategy instruction in persuasive writing with eighth-grade students who attended a public day school for students with severe emotional and behavior disabilities. Students were taught to plan and write persuasive essays using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development model.
Mayes, S. D., & Calhoun, S. L. (2006). Frequency of reading, math, and writing disabilities in children with clinical disorders. Learning and individual Differences, 16(2), 145-157.
- Children with oppositional-defiant disorder, adjustment disorder, anxiety, and depression had relatively low LD percentages (18–19%). LD in written expression was twice as common as LD in reading or math. Findings indicate that children with neurogenetic disorders should be assessed for possible LD because of the high potential yield and the need to intervene educationally if learning problems exist.
Monroe, B. W., & Troia, G. A. (2006). Teaching writing strategies to middle school students with disabilities. The Journal of Educational Research, 100(1), 21-33.
- Following less than 8 hr of instruction in the use of strategies to facilitate planning, self-regulation, and revising while writing opinion essays, a group of 3 middle school students with learning disabilities (LD) made substantial gains in each of 5 quality traits on which their papers were scored. On average, posttest scores of students with LD were better by 1 point on a 6-point scale than were those scores obtained by a group of LD students who served as controls.
Nippold, M. A., & Scott, C. M. (Eds.). (2010). Expository discourse in children, adolescents, and adults: Development and disorders. Taylor & Francis.
- The authors examine an area of discourse that has been relatively understudied: that of expository text. The ability to engage in this kind of discourse, while it emerges early in childhood, requires many more years of growth. Moreover, its acquisition depends not only on the development of strong language skills but also on cognitive and metacognitive abilities as well as on the acquisition of specific knowledge.
Olinghouse, N. G., & Santangelo, T. (2010). Assessing the writing of struggling learners. Focus On Exceptional Children, 43(4), 1.
- This article is designed to support teachers in becoming more proficient in writing assessment. First, we discuss the different purposes that guide the assessment process. We then describe the range of skills involved in writing, as well as common difficulties students may have in these areas. The main body of the paper details specific writing assessment methods and tools for a range of writing skills.
Poch, A. L., & Graham, S. (2020). Informing Inquiry into Writing Across the Lifespan from Perspectives on Students with Learning Disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 909381958 715965988 M. C. Zajic (Ed.), Approaches to Lifespan Writing Research: Generating an Actionable Coherence (pp. 195-210). Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.
- The authors take a lifespan perspective on understanding the writing skills of individuals with learning disabilities or with autism spectrum disorder, highlighting what is currently known about these two groups of writers and where research needs to go.
Reading, I. (2020). 22 The Writing Bridge. The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies in Literacy, 309.
Saddler, B., Moran, S., Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2004). Preventing writing difficulties: The effects of planning strategy instruction on the writing performance of struggling writers. Exceptionality, 12(1), 3-17.
- In this study, we examined whether early, supplemental strategy instruction in planning helped ameliorate writing difficulties. Second-grade students experiencing difficulty learning to write were taught a strategy for planning and writing stories. Learning to use the strategy had a positive effect on writing, as students' stories became more complete and, with the exception of 1 student, qualitatively better.
Sylvester, R., & Greenidge, W. L. (2009). Digital storytelling: Extending the potential for struggling writers. The reading teacher, 63(4), 284-295
- Digital storytelling is a viable tool to help struggling writers resist the social position of struggling writer that is often exacerbated by state‐mandated writing assessments. While some writers may struggle with traditional literacy, tapping into new literacies may boost their motivation and scaffold their understanding of traditional literacies.
- Three types of struggling writers are introduced followed by descriptions of ways digital storytelling can support them as writers. Three tables include the following resources: (1) examples of digital stories, (2) tutorials and web resources for music, sound effects, graphics, and copyright information, and (3) suggested hardware and software for creating digital stories.