The effect of student-directed writing goals on writing outcomes for adolescent developing writers

A. Angelique Aitken, Madeline Halkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this single-case research design study, we investigated the effects of student-directed writing goals with adolescent writers who were developing their writing proficiency. Two students with a learning disability and two multilingual writers engaged in a pre-baseline condition to learn the functional elements of a persuasive essay. Once they reached criterion for a stable baseline, they began a self-directed goal-setting intervention. As part of the intervention, students received feedback as to the number and quality of the persuasive writing elements that they wrote in a previous session. Based on this instructor feedback, they identified strengths and areas for improvement. Then, they created a writing goal for the next essay that they wrote. A functional relation was established with the primary dependent measure, the number of functional elements, and a more distal measure, holistic writing quality. Furthermore, we found that student-directed writing goals were an effective tool for teaching writing, as evidenced by the percentage of cumulative goals students met across the writing sessions. Future research and implications for writing instruction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1513
Number of pages25
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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