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The Revising Processes of Sixth-Grade Writers with and without Peer Feedback

Author(s): Vicki L. Brakel Olson


Source: The Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 84, No. 1 (Sep. - Oct., 1990), pp. 22-29
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40539679
Accessed: 18-09-2015 00:58 UTC
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Processes
ofSixth-Grade
TheRevising
WithandWithout
Writers
PeerFeedback
VICKI L. BRAKEL OLSON
AugsburgCollege

The primary
ABSTRACT
purposeof thisstudywas to
examinethe effectof peer feedbackon the qualityof student
and the amountand kindof revisionbehavior.Ninetywriting
threesixthgradersin sixintactclassroomswroteand revisedsix
stories,thelastone beingused as data forthisstudy.Instruction
variedacrossgroupsin the followingmanner:RI/PP students
and revisedstorieswitha peer; PP
receivedrevisioninstruction
studentsrevisedstorieswitha peer but did not receiverevision
but revised
RI studentsreceivedrevisioninstruction
instruction;
nor
storiesalone; C studentshad neitherrevisioninstruction
helpfrompeers.Chi-squareanalysisindicatedthatrevisionbehaviorwas influenced
analysis
Qualityof writing
by instruction.
acrossgroupson bothroughand
differences
revealedsignificant
finaldrafts.Peer feedbackseemedto help studentswriteinilinkedto
tiallysuperiorroughdraftsbut was not consistently
of contentbetweenroughand finaldrafts.Sucimprovement
cessfulsurfacestructure
editingoccurredwithor withoutpeer
feedback.

process approach to teachingwritinghas gone


beyondbeing a new and breakingtrendas school
itsmajorprinand textbooksattemptto institute
districts
of process
the
ideas
that
Research
brought
initially
ciples.
a
is
also
attention
to
our
completing cycle.Case
writing
1980s
showedin greatdetail
the
of
research
early
study
the writingprocessof selectedchildren(Calkins, 1983;
proGraves, 1981, 1983). The richnessof information
nature.
videdby those studiesobscuredtheirdescriptive
Recentcriticsof thatresearch(Barr, 1983; Smagorinsky,
from
resulting
1987)have questionedthe generalizations
those case studies.One criticargued that Graves's researchis reportageratherthanproofof successfuluse of
because onlythe side thathas
instruction
processwriting
workedis seen (Smagorinsky,
1987).
an attemptto systematBy contrast,thisstudyreflects
icallymanipulatecomponentsof process writingunder
controlledclassroomconditions(as controlledas normal
classroomswillallow) and in the mode of whole group

Revisionwas chosenas a major focusof the


instruction.
in writing
processinstrucstudybecauseof recentinterest
schoollevel(Applebee,1986).That
tionat theelementary
holds at itscore a writing
kindof instruction
processthat
withthe expectationthatreviincludesmultipledrafting,
sion across draftswill improvewritingquality (Barr,
1983). Because of thisfocus,the immediatequestionbechildrenrevisetheir
comes "Can and do elementary-aged
writing?"
Process
Revisingas Part of the Writing
The case studyresearchof Graves (1981, 1983, 1984)
and Calkins(1980, 1983) describedin detailthe revision
behaviorof childwriters.
By thetimethatthoseresearchin
the
ers' subjectswere
midelementary
grades,the chilsame
revision
of
the
drenwereusingmany
techniquesas
to their
information
added
children
olderwriters.Those
of
their
stories,
rearrangedportions
personalnarratives,
and deletedsectionsthattheyno longerwanted.
Experimentalstudiesindicatedthat across Grades 4
revisionbehaviorsweremethrough12, the predominant
chanical revisions(spelling,punctuation,capitalization,
usage) and word-levelcontentrevisions(additions,dele(Bridwell, 1980;
tions, substitutions,rearrangements)
Crowhurst,1983; NAEP, 1978). However,withineach
gradelevel,thenumberand kindof revisionsperindividual papervariedwidely(Bridwell;Crowhurst,1982).The
to reviseand the abilityto determinewhen
willingness
was
revision
necessaryfluctuatedamong studentsin
5
Grade (Crowhurst,1982) and continuedto do so in
Grades 11 and 12 (Bridwell,1980; Crowhurst,1982).
Those studiessuggestedthatrevisionbehaviorcannotbe
succinctly"pigeon-holed"and describedby gradelevel.

to VickiL. BrakelOlson,4732ColAddresscorrespondence
MN 55409.
faxAvenue,S., Minneapolis,

22

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1990[Vol. 84(No. 1)]


September/October

Some studentsat all levels revisedprolifically,


whereas
othersmade minimalchanges.
But evidenceof revisiondoes not necessarily
meanmatureand practicedapplication.Bartlett(1982) concluded
thatchildrenhave two obvious difficulties
that set their
revising
apartfromolder(adult)writers:
(a) Theyare not
alwaysable to recognizeproblemsin theirown writing,
(b) They are not always able to improvewritingeven
whentheyrecognizeproblems.
Audience awareness:What willpresentproblemsfor
at one timeor anmyreaders?Everywriterhas difficulty
otherdetermining
what to say and how to say it effectively.Young writershave even greaterhurdlesto clear
writers.
The youngwriters
haveto
thanmoreexperienced
what
to
but
out
not
also
how
to
write
it.
only
say
figure
that
are
automatic
for
writers
skills
reexperienced
Many
quire the conscious attentionof young ones (Graves,
gain automaticcon1983a).Onlyafterthe youngwriters
trol over fluencyand mechanicalconventionsare they
able to consciouslyconsiderthe needs of an audienceas
have
theywrite(Bereiter,1980). However,youngwriters
lessdifficulty
of
content
and
locatingproblems
syntaxin
the writingof others(Bartlett,1982). This findingsugof peerresponseduringthe
geststhepotentialhelpfulness
writing
process.
Peer responsehas appeared as a positiveand helpful
partof writing
workshopsat the highschool and college
levelforseveralyears(Carter,1982; Healy, 1983; Lewes,
1981; Ziv, 1983). Case studyresultsof peer responseat
the elementary
level also are reportedas positive(Calkins, 1983; Crowhurst,1979; Weeks & White, 1982).
However,despitethe many benefitscited for peer response,attemptsto linkpeer responseto improvedwritlevelhave been less
ingqualityat a statistically
significant
successful(Carter,1982; Lewes, 1981; Stevens,Madden,
Slavin,& Famish, 1987;Ziv, 1983).
Consciouscontroloverlanguage:How can I fixproblematic text? Sophisticatedlanguage behaviors occasionallyappear in the languageoutputof youngwriters,
but such behaviorsdo not appear consistently.
Consistencyrequiresmore cognitivematurityand conscious
controloverlanguageprocessesthan is possessedby the
young(Burtis,Bereiter,Scardamalia,& Tetroe, 1983).
Birnbaum(1982) suggestedthat "If we can specifywhat
[language]behaviorsare associatedwithproductionof
bettertext,we maybe able to promotethemthroughinstruction"(p. 257).
Cohen and Scardamalia (1983), operatingfromthe
aforementioned
assumptionin a revisiontrainingstudy
of studentsin Grade 6, asked: Can sixthgradersbe
trainedto revisetheirown textat theidea (content)level?
The resultsof thoseauthorsshowedthatstudentswho receiveddirectinstruction
in severalspecificrevisionstratmore idea-levelrevisions
egies did make significantly
which,in turn,improvedthe qualityof theirwriting.

23

In thisstudyI assumedthatyoungwriters
willhave revisionproblemsthat are unique to theirdevelopmental
and experientiallevels. Specifically,those writerswill
have difficultyrecognizingaudience need and consciouslycontrollingtheiruse of revisionstrategies.The
researchjust reportedsuggestedtwo instructional
stratclassroomto increasereviegiesforuse in the elementary
sion behaviorsand improvequalityof writing:(a) peer
feedbackand (b) directinstructionin specificrevision
strategies.
Overviewof Study
Purpose
Classroomteachers,beingpragmatists,
recognizerevision as a potentialally in theirstruggleto help children
become successfulwriters.In the upper elementary
gradeswhereexpectationsforqualityare oftenhigh,revisionbecomesan especiallyattractive
skill.
This studyexploredthe effectsof two instructional
on the revisionbehaviorand qualityof writing
strategies
of sixth-grade
students.Researchquestionsguidingthis
wereas follows:
investigation
1. Willtypeand amountof revisionbehaviorvarysignifinstructional
situations?
icantlyacrossfourdifferent
2. Will quality of writingvary significantly
across instructional
situations?
3. Will quality of writingvary significantly
between
situaroughand finaldraftswithineach instructional
tion?
Subjects
The subjectsin this studywere 93 sixthgradersfrom
fourdifferent
schools withinthe same middle-classsuburban school district.Of the 93 students,49 were girls
and 44 were boys. The subjectswere membersof four
heterogeneousinstructionalgroups, one group per
school- each group being an intact classroom. Each
classroomwas informally
groupedby classroomteachers
at thebeginningof the schoolyearto includetheexisting
in each school; no attempt
rangeof abilitiesrepresented
was made to isolate specificabilitygroups withinthe
classrooms.All the studentswithineach class received
but not all the studentswere
processwriting
instruction,
partof the finalanalysis.I eliminatedsome studentsbecause theywereeitherfifth-grade
childrenin a combination classroom,or they were sixth-grade
studentswith
incompletesetsof writing
samples.
Teachers
All of the participating
teachersvolunteeredto be a
part of the study.The teachershad a specialinterestin
and weremotiimprovingtheirown writinginstruction
vatedto trythe materialsused in thisstudy.All werevet-

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Journalof EducationalResearch

24

eranteacherswithbetween13 and 24 yearsof experience


at thetimeof the study.
Materials
Writinglessons. Six autobiographicalwritinglessons
a
weredevelopedforthisstudy.Each lessonincorporated
to
similar
and
sharingcomponent
drafting,
prewriting,
comthe precomposing,
composing,and postcomposing
refocus
on
Formal
Graves
described
(1984).
by
ponents
was
strucand
visionoccurredduringthe drafting
phase
for each of the four instructional
tured differently
groups.As is apparent,I developedthoselessonswithina
nature
the recursive
Whilerecognizing
linearframework.
I
&
of thewriting
process(Flower Hayes, 1981), operated
fromthe philosopystatedby Humes (1983): "Although
ratherthanlinear,forpedatheseprocessesare recursive
of planningand revising
the
activities
gogicalpurposes
are easierto presentseparately.... As studentsbeginto
the processes,theycan be taughtto function
understand
recursively"
(p. 10).
In all waysbut revision,the lessonswerethe same for
each group.I designedthe lessonsto be taughtby classroomteachersin wholegroupinstructional
settings.Lesson plansweredevelopedin detailand containedstep-byas wellas commentsand rationale.
stepdirections
In order to assess revisionbehaviorunder optimum
conditions,I createdwritingexperiencesin which stuin theirstories.The imdentswould have an investment
from
of
topics of personalinteresthas
portance writing
and frequently
documented
been
by Graves
forcefully
in
thisstudy
used
lessons
the
writing
(1983, 1984).Thus,
the
students
all
of
When
in
nature.
wereautobiographical
final
the
six
of
their
each
stories,
copies were
completed
childto
each
for
booklets
into
collected
autobiographical
of
sixth
a
as
take home
grade.
keepsake
lessons were
Revisionlessons. Five direct-instruction
treatment
the
four
of
with
two
used
groups.Those lesof adding,delettactics
revision
on
sons focused specific
inforand
rearranging
paraphrasing,
ing, substituting,
were
All
five
lessons
a
text.
mationwithin
designedto be
lessons.
the
writing
autobiographical
taughtpriorto
was twoinstruction
the
revision
behind
The purpose
be retext
can
that
idea
the
and
to
fold
support
develop
students
to
written
and
it
is
once
vised
gain conhelp
scious controlover specificstrategiesfor revisingtext.
was that
The guidingphilosophybehindthe instruction
"children[who do not oftenrevise]do not necessarily
froma lack of competencebut rathera lack of unsuffer
of processesrelevantto revision"(Cohen &
derstanding
Scardamalia,1983).
Unlike some lessonsthat use highlydirectiveinstructions, those revisionlessons encourageddivergentreto
sponses.The lesson plans includedseveralreminders
teachersthat divergentresponseswere to be modeled,
discussed,and valuedas long as the revisionsfitand improvedthetext.

Procedures
This studywas conductedoverAVimonths
Instruction.
underroutineclassroomconditions.Classroomteachers
Studentsin two of
carriedout the prescribedinstruction.
in theuse of thefive
thegroupsreceiveddirectinstruction
revisiontactics prior to startingthe autobiographical
occurredapproximately
writinglessons.That instruction
twicea week forabout 1 month.Duringthattime,the
other groups continuedwith theirprescribedlanguage
artsprogram,whichfocusedon grammarand combining
sentences.Then all studentsparticipatedin the six process-basedwritinglessons. Instructionduringthe writing
lessonsvariedonlyat the pointof revision.The fourinsituationscan be summarizedas follows:
structional
Revision instruction/peer
partners(RI/PP): Instrucwas givenpriorto the
tion in specificrevisionstrategies
lessons.Duringthe writuse of six process-basedwriting
to respondto
inglessons,studentsmetwithpeerpartners
and reviseroughdrafts.
was
Peer partneronly (PP): No revisioninstruction
with
the
students
met
the
lessons,
writing
given.During
peerpartnersto respondto and reviseroughdrafts.
Revisioninstruction
only (RI): Instructionin specific
was givenpriorto the writinglessons.
revisionstrategies
During the writinglessons, studentsworked alone to
evaluateand revisetheirroughdrafts.
Control: Those studentscompletedthe same writing
nor
lessons,but theydid not receiverevisioninstruction
did theyworkwitha peer partnerto revisetheirrough
weregiventimebut no help in
drafts.Those participants
lessons.
duringthe writing
revising
Because peer collaborationwas integralto two of the
treatmentgroups and because of the durationof the
on the basis of
study,I attemptedto assigntreatments
their
teachers
how the participating
normallystructured
used
who
teachers
Those
classrooms.
peer colregularly
were
instruction
of
their
laborationas a part
assignedto
that
situations
instructional
incorporatedpeer collaboranot
tion. Treatments
requiringpeer collaborationwere
who
tendedto use wholegroupdisto
teachers
assigned
than peer collaboration.So
rather
cussion techniques
was giventhebestpossiblechanceto
thateach treatment
in
of treatment
succeed,I overruledrandomassignment
favorof mymorepragmaticmethod.I hoped thatby my
action teacher cooperation and enthusiasmwould be
the courseof the study.
maintainedthroughout
Data collection.Data consistedof the roughdraftsof
lesson6, collectedand copied beforeand afterthe formal
revisingsessionand the finaldraftsof the same lesson.
Those draftswereused in the analysisof revisionbehavior and writingquality.I keptsession6 as similarto the
previoussessions as possible and returnedall original
workto the studentsaftercopying.

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1990[Vol. 84(No. 1)]


September/October

Analysis
Revisionbehavior.The revisioncategorysystemin this
study was adapted from a systemused by Bridwell
(1980). That systemconsideredthe syntacticlevels of
contentof text:
revisionbehavioraffecting
Single-word
level("Run" is changedto "race.")
Multiple-word
level("In frontof myhouse" is deletedfroma sentence.)
Sentencelevel("I loved myhorseverymuch" is added to a paragraph.)
Multiple-sentence
level ("Grandma and Grandpa
werewaitingfor us when we arrived.They had supper
readyand our beds all made. Boy were we glad to see
fromthe beginningof the storyto
them"are rearranged
a spotnearthe middle.)
That systemalso consideredtypes of revisionbehavior-mechanics, spelling,additions,deletions,substitutions, and rearrangements
(referredto as an "order
shift" by Bridwell, 1980). All revisiontypes (except
mechanicsand spelling)could occurat anyof the syntacticlevels.
Revisioncategorizationwas done twice for each student.First,the revisedroughdraftwas read, and all apparentrevisionswere classifiedas to typeand syntactic
level. Second, the roughand finaldraftsof each paper
were compared,word by word. All changes between
roughand finaldraftswereclassifiedand talliedby category.The revisionbehaviorsforeach setof roughand final draftswere counted and recorded.Followingthis
procedure,I calculatedrevisionsper 100 wordsby categoryforeach student.The numbersof studentsfalling
withinspecificrangesof revisionsper 100wordsweredetermined.
Chi-squaretestswerethenused to analyzeeach
typeof revisionbehavior.
on raterreliability,
As a cross-check
a randomsample
of 10% of the paperswas categorizedby a second rater
trainedto use thecategorysystem.Of 344 totalrevisions,
both ratersnoted 266 revisions,a resultof 77% agreement.Of the266 revisionsnotedbybothraters,242 were
bythemin thesamewayfor91% agreement.
categorized
to
note
revisionbehaviorswas a problemforboth
Failing
raters.Those resultsindicatedthatnumbersof revisions
in the analysisof reviwerelikelyto be underestimated
sion behaviorbut that the categorizationsystemitself
could be consistently
applied.
The scale used in thisstudyto anaof
writing.
Quality
lyzewriting
qualitywas an adaptationof Cooper's (1977)
Personal NarrativeWritingScale. Because the current
of studentsyoungerthanthose
studyinvolvedthewriting
for whom this scale was originallydeveloped, minor
modifications
werenecessary.
The PersonalNarrativeWritingScale considersboth
rhetoricaland surface structurequalities. Rhetorical
audienceconsidqualityis dividedintosix subcategories:
overerations,voice,centralfigure,setting/background,

25

all organization,and theme/topic.Surface structure


qualityis also divided into six subcategories:wording,
syntax,usage, punctuation/capitalization,
spelling,and
appearance.Internalconsistencyof thisscale was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha (Mehrens & Lehmann,
1973).The results,shownin Table 1, suggestthattherhetoricalqualityand totalqualityportionsof thatscale are
reliableas measuresof writing
quality.
The PersonalNarrativeWritingScale was used to evaluate all threewritingsamples.The preinstructional
sample was analyzedfirst,and each paper was evaluatedby
two raters. Interraterreliability,as measured by
Pearson's r, was relativelylow (r = .58). That result
prompteda second trainingsessionforthe raters.Their
subsequenteffortsproduced slightlyhighercorrelations
sam(r = .69) whentheirresultson the postinstructional
ple werecompared.A thirdraterevaluatedthosepostinstructional
papersthatshowedtwo or moresubcategories
discrepantby morethan 2 points(pointsrangedfrom1
to 4, with4 beinghigh).The thirdratingwas compared
withtheothertwo ratings,and themostdiscrepantof the
three was discarded. That process resultedin quality
scoresthat correlatedmore closelythan those obtained
by the initialratingprocess(r = .85), and those scores
wereused in subsequentqualityanalyses.
Scores fromthe preinstructional
writingsampleswere
comparedacross groupsusinga one-wayANOVA. The
resultsof this analysisas reportedin Table 2 indicated
differences
statistically
significant
amonggroupspriorto
F = 3.35,p < .02. An objectivetestof laninstruction,
guage skillsalso showed differences
among groupsthat
F = 2.44, p < .07
approached statisticalsignificance,
(Group means: RI/PP = 38.17; PP = 35.87; RI =
Table 1.- IntentemConsistencyof QualityScale
by TreatmentGroup

Treatment
groups
RI/PP
PP
RI
C

All
items

Rhetorical
items

.88
.91
.90
.89

Surfacestructure
items

.95
.90
.96
.93

.86
.77
.77
.67

Table 2- ANOVA of Preinstructional


WritingSample Quality
Scores
Source

Among
Within
Total

SS

4,906.09
39,554.90
44,460.99

df

3
81
84

MS

1,635.36
488.33

3.35

.02*

Note.Groupmeans:RI/PP = 107.79;PP = 94.04;RI = 113.58;C


= 109.05.
Judged
significant
atp < .05.

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26

Journalof EducationalResearch

34.28; C = 34.04). Those resultsindicatedthe use of


analysisof covarianceto assess across-groupdifferences
forpostinstructional
samples.The scoresfromthe preinstructional,objective test of language skillscorrelated
withfinalqualityscoresand thuswereused
moststrongly
as thecovariate,N = 89, r = .39,p < .002.
Within-groupanalysisinvolved assessingthe differences in qualitybetweenroughand finaldraftsof each
student.A dependentt testwas applied to total quality
scoreswithineach group.This sametestwas also used t
qualityscoreswithineach group.
comparethe rhetorical

Table 3.- RevisionBehaviorper 100 Words

Groups

1-9

RI/PP
PP
RI
C

16
16
4
7

Content
10 or more
7
8
20
11

Surfacestructure
1-9
10 or more

23
24
24
18

17
15
19
7

23
26
24
18

6
11
5
11

Note, x2 = 17.66; df = 3; p < .05 forcontent,x2 = 8.72; df = 3; p


at p < .05.
< .03 forsurfacestructure,
p judged significant
Table 4.- RevisionBehaviorComparedby Frequencyof Use

Results
RevisionBehavior
Amount. Chi-squareanalysisof all contentrevisions
(additions, deletions, substitutions,rearrangements)
difmade on roughand finaldraftsindicatedsignificant
ferencesacross groups. The majorityof studentswho
workedwithpeerpartnersrevisedthe content9 or fewer
timesper 100 words,whereasthe majorityof students
who workedwithoutpeer partnersrevisedcontent10 or
moretimesper 100 words(see Table 3). Studentsin the
RI group seemed most discrepantbecause considerably
morestudentsthanexpectedfellintothe upperrangeof
revisions
per 100words(see Table 3).
The resultsfor surfacestructurerevision(mechanics,
spelling)showedonlytheC groupto havethemajorityof
itsstudentsin theupperrangeof revisionsper 100words
(see Table 3). Thus, the majorityof the studentswho
claimedtheupperfrequency
workedwithoutpeerpartners
rangeof revisionsper 100 words, whereasRI students
dominatedin contentrevisionsand C studentsled in surface structurerevisions.Studentsin both peer-partner
fortheirconsistenttendencyto fall
groupswerestriking
into the lower frequencyranges of revisionsper 100
wordsacrossall typesof revisionbehavior.
Type.All groupsshoweda majorityof studentsmaking more contentrevisionsthan surfacestructurerevisions,buttheRI groupshowedthispatternmoststrongly
syntac(see Table 4). Acrossall groups,thepredominant
tic levelforcontentrevisionswas wordlevel(67% of all
contentrevisions).
used revisiontypesfor RI/PP,
The most frequently
PP, and C studentsweremechanicalrevisionsand substiand additionspretutions.For RI students,substitutions
dominated.Between92 to 99% of all students,regardless
of group,made substitutions,
additions,and deletionsin
theirstories.Frequencyof use seemedto be affectedby
instructional
situation,but the abilityto revise using
- withor withoutinstruction.
thosetacticsexisted
Time of revising.The instructional
groupsalso were
timeof revising,that is, becontrastedby predominant
tweendraftsor duringfinaldrafting
(see Table 5). Once
again,the RI groupstood apart fromthe restwithonly

Groups

Content

Surfacestructure

RI/PP
PP
RI
C

13
15
22
11

10
9
1
6

23
24
23
17

Note, x2 = 10.09, df = 3, p < .02. p judged significant


at/? < .05.
Table 5.- Comparisonof Time of Revising
Groups
RI/PP
PP
RI
C

Rough draft

Final draft

7
6
20
8

14
19
4
8

21
25
24
16

at p < .05.
Note, x2 = 19.62, df = 3, p < .01. /?judged significant

thatgroupshowinga majorityof studentsrevisingmore


All other
oftenbetweendraftsthanduringfinaldrafting.
groupsshowedthe majorityof studentsmakingmostof
theirrevisionson the finaldraft.
Discussion
The firstresearch question asked: Will type and
amount of revisionbehavior vary significantly
across
instructional
situations?From the results
fourdifferent
just reported,threepointscan be made in answerto that
question.First,the two groupsrevisingwithpeer partners (RI/PP and PP) were more similarthan the two
groups receivingrevisioninstruction(RI/PP and RI).
This resultsuggeststhattypeand amountof revisionbehaviormayhave been influencedmoreby theuse of peer
partnersthanby the revisionlessonsused in thisstudy.
Second, the groupsrevisingwithoutpeer partners(RI
and C) revisedmoreoftenthanthosewho had peerpartners(RI/PP and PP). RI studentsrevisedcontentmore
more
often,whereasC studentsrevisedsurfacestructure
often.
Third, revisioninstructionof the type used in this
addition,and
studywas not neededto elicitsubstitution,
deletiontactics.Studentsused thosetacticsregardless
of

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27

1990[Vol.84(No.1)]
September/October
instructional
situation,leadingone to concludethatreviused in thisstudydid not buildskillsthat
sioninstruction
Howinstruction.
wereuniqueto thosestudentsreceiving
those
tactics
received
that
the
may have
ever,
emphasis
caused the RI studentsto revisecontentmorefrequently
thantheotherstudentsdid.

Table 6.- ANCOVA of Total QualityScores


SS

Source

MS

3,462.54
359.95

9.62

.01

8.96

.01

df
Rough draft
3
83
86

10,387.62
29,875.58
40,263.20

Among
Within
Total

Writing
Quality

Final draft

effects.Analysisof covarianceindicated
Across-group
acrossgroupsin qualityof writing
differences
significant
scoreson both roughand finaldrafts.For total quality
scores,studentsin theRI/PP groupswroteroughand final draftsof significantly
higherqualitythan all other
groups(see Tables 6 and 7). Studentsin the PP group
wroteroughand finaldraftsthatrankedsecondin quality.
When rhetoricalqualityscores were consideredseparately,roughand finaldraftsof the RI/PP groupswere
superiorto those of all othergroups
again significantly
groupsshowedno
(see Table 8). Althoughthe remaining
rhetoricalquality,
in rough-draft
differences
significant
superiorto
by finaldraftsthe PP groupwas significantly
theRI group.
On the roughdraft,the C group scored significantly
lowerthanall othergroupson surfacestructure
quality,
lower than the
and the RI group scored significantly
RI/PP group(see Table 8). But by thefinaldraft,no sigwerefoundin surfacestructure
differences
nificant
quality.
effects.Rough and final draftquality
Within-group
scoresforstudentsin each instructional
groupwerecomt
The
results
of thoset tests
tests.
paredusingdependent
in Table 9.
are summarized
Those resultsconfirmedthat studentsin all groups
wereable to significantly
improvethe surfacestructure
drafts.Accordingto that
stories
across
their
of
quality
the
process,whereovertconcern
finding, multiple-draft
issuesis postponeduntillaterin the
forsurfacestructure
drafting
process,was comfortableforthose studentsreof
gardless group.
In contrastto surfacestructure
revising,only the PP
able
to
improverhetoricalqualsignificantly
groupwas
showedthatthose sturevision
behavior
ity.Analysisof
in
the
lower
fell
dentsconsistently
rangeof revisionsper
of
revision.
all
100 words for
Yet, theirrevising
types
withsome success
been
musthave
purposeful,targeting
the most.
theportionsof textthatneededrevising
RI/PP studentsdid not significantly
improverhetorical quality.At leasttwo factorsmayhave been operating
in this study.First,the RI/PP teacherevaluatedeach
storyas heavilyformechanicalaccuracyas forcommunicativequality.Students,accustomedto theteacher'shigh
foraccuracy,mayhave focusedmoreattenexpectations
and lesson improving
surfacestructure
tionon perfecting
contentas theyrevised.Second, RI/PP studentshad alstoriesof superiorquality.The contentof
readywritten

3
83
86

8,784.80
27,114.10
35,898.90

Among
Within
Total

2,928.27
326.68

Note. Multiple comparisonof group means in rough draft: Set 1:


RI/PP; Set 2: PP, RI; Set 3: RI, C. Multiplecomparisonof group
meansin finaldraft:Set 1: RI/PP; Set 2: PP, C; Set 3: RI, C.

Table 7.- Co variate,Dependent,and Adjusted Means and Standard Deviations

Groups

Covariate
M
SD

Dependent
M
SD

Adjusted
M

Rough draft
RI/PP
PP
RI
C

34.65
35.87
38.17
34.28

5.40
5.81
5.31
6.18

RI/PP
PP
RI
C

34.65
35.87
38.17
34.28

5.40
5.81
5.31
6.18

112.87
98.78
94.63
82.78

18.16
26.81
17.08
18.41

114.61
98.76
91.26
85.07

21.74
19.09
21.56
23.25

119.71
106.79
92.40
101.16

Final draft
117.26
106.83
97.13
97.94

Table 8.- Summaryof ANCOVA Resultsof PartialQualityScores

Draft

df

Rough

3, 83

8.39

.02

Final

3, 83

12.24

.01

Rough

3, 83

7.61

.03

Final

3, 83

1.11

.35

Post hoc multiplecomparisons


(adjusted means)

Rhetoricalquality
Set 1: RI/PP (75.75)
Set 2: PP (62.68); RI (56.30);
C (55.05)
Set 1: RI/PP (78.85)
Set 2: PP (68.32); C (62.92)
Set 3: C; RI (54.76)

Surfacestructurequality
Set 1: RI/PP (38.87); PP
(36.08)
Set 2: PP; RI (34.96)
Set 3: C (30.02)
NSD*

at p < .05.
Note, p judged significant
^Adjustedgroupmeans: RI/PP = 40.83; PP = 38.47; RI = 37.68; C
= 37.76.

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28

Journalof EducationalResearch

Table 9.- Summaryof Within-GroupQualityComparisons

Group
RI/PP
Total
Rhetorical
Surfacestructure
PP
Total
Rhetorical
Surfacestructure
RI
Total
Rhetorical
Surfacestructure
C
Total
Rhetorical
Surfacestructure

df

22
22
22

1.58
1.11
1.77

.06
.14
.04*

25
25
25

2.20
1.81
2.22

.02*
.04*
.02*

23
23
23

.71
-.14
2.29

.25
.44
.02*

18
18
18

2.2
1.16
4.13

.02*
.13
.05*

Judgedsignificant
at/7 < .05.

theirstoriesmaynot have needed as muchrevising,


and
thussignificant
growthdid not occur.
The second and thirdresearchquestionsasked: "Will
across instructional
qualityof writingvarysignificantly
situations?"and "Will qualityof writingvary significantlybetweenrough and final draftswithineach instructional
situation?"
Afterconsidering
the effectsof instructional
situation
on qualityof writing
both withinand acrossgroups,the
conclusionsseem fair.First,peer feedbackdid
following
seemto have positiveeffectson qualityof writing.The
groupsreceiving
peerfeedbackrankedfirstand secondin
termsof writing
quality.The PP groupimprovedrhetorical qualityscores significantly
betweenroughand final
drafts;theRI/PP groupdid not,but theirstoriesinitially
were significantly
superior. Peer response tnay have
those
students
helped
anticipateaudienceneed as wellas
maintainenthusiasmforthe task of writingsix autobiomode. This studycangraphicalstoriesin thefull-process
not describehow peerpartnershelpedeach other,but it
does indicatethathelp was givenand received.
Second, a situationnot conduciveto productiverevissituaingwas isolated.The resultsof theRI instructional
tionstrongly
that
students
should
not
be
suggest
systematicallypromptedto apply revisionstrategiesto rough
draftswithoutthe benefitof peer feedback. Without
feedback,studentsrevised,
more,but the qualityof writdid
not
in
ing
improve; fact,forthe groupas a whole,
rhetoricalquality declined between rough and final
drafts.Studentsmayhave regardedrevisionas an end in
itselfratherthanas a meansto improvewriting
foran audienceof peers.
studentsin thecurrentstudy,
Third,forthesixth-grade
frequentrevisinghad mixedeffects.RI studentstended
to make morecontentrevisionson both draftsthan did
studentsin othergroups.The RI participants
also had fi-

nal draftsof significantly


lowerqualitythandid members
of eitherof the peer-partner
groups. By contrast,studentsin the C grouptendedto make moresurfacestructurerevisions
thandid studentsin all othergroups.But in
thisstudy,thefrequentrevisionswerewarranted
bytheC
low
surface-structure
scores
on
the
group's
quality
rough
drafts.Frequentrevisionsby the C group allowedthem
to raise theirsurfacestructurequalityscoresenoughto
place them on par withother students.Evidently,studentsin sixthgradewho revisealone have greatersuccess
in detectingand correctingsurfacestructureproblems
than contentproblems.This findingsubstantiates
Bartlett's(1982) earlierconclusionsto the same effect.
Finally,one can concludefromtheseresultsthatsixthgrade studentsare able to significantly
improvesurface
structurequality withina multiple-draft
process both
withand withoutthebenefitof peerfeedback.All groups
showedsignificant
growthin surfacestructure
qualitybetweendrafts,althoughthe C group studentsimproved
theirpapersthe most. Peer responsedid not seemto be
of textabsolutelyessentialfor significant
improvement
based problemsof punctuation,capitalization,spelling,
in thewriting
of thosesixth-grade
usage,and handwriting
students.
Summaryof Conclusions
Severalof the findingsof the currentstudysubstantiateresultsfrompreviousstudies.
1. All groupsin thisstudydid mostrevising
of contentat
the word level (Bridwell, 1980; Crowhurst,1982;
NAEP, 1978).
2. The RI/PP, PP, and C groupsmade surfacestructure
revisionsand substitutions
moreoftenthanany other
revisiontype(Mullis,1985;NAEP, 1978).
3. Those same groupsrevisedmore oftenwhiledrafting
thantheydid betweendrafts(Bridwell,1980).
4. Studentsin the RI groupwereinducedthroughtrainto do morerevising
of contentthan
ingand prompting
was expected (Cohen & Scardamalia, 1983; Matsuhashi& Gordon, 1985).
Resultsof thisstudyalso suggestthatdirectinstruction
in specificrevisionstrategies
does not resultin improved
qualityof writingwhen studentsrevisein isolation.The
but revisedalone
groupthatreceivedrevisioninstruction
(RI) made morecontentrevisionsthan othergroupsdid
but showeda declinein rhetorical
qualitybetweenrough
and finaldrafts.
Suggestions
for FutureResearch
This studydid not includeobservationsof and interviewswithstudentsas theyrevised.As such, one cannot
statewithcertainty
whystudentsrespondedas theydid to
the variousinstructional
situations.Additionalresearch
with this focus is warranted.A question to consider

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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

29

1990[Vol. 84(No. 1)]


September/October

mightbe: Do studentsfocus theirrevisioneffortson


problemsspecifiedby otherstudents,or do theyuse a
morepersonal,internally
guidedsystemof evaluationto
focustheirrevision?

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