Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Middle school);


The effects of expository writing (a writing to learn approach) on achievement in a math unit on fractions was investigated. Two groups of intact sixth grade mathematics classes (N = 44) were chosen and the treatment of expository writing was randomly assigned to one group. The control group received direct instruction for the unit on addition and subtraction of fractions while the treatment group practiced expository writing (a how-to descriptive writing) plus direct instruction. The study lasted four weeks. The same summative post test of the fraction unit was given to both groups when the unit was complete. The null hypothesis states that there is no difference in achievement between students receiving expository writing plus direct instruction as compared to students receiving only direct instruction. A t test was used and the results showed no significant difference in the means of the scores from the two groups on the summative test in fractions (t = 1.5). Therefore, the null hypothesis was not rejected. Expository writing did not significantly affect achievement in a mathematics unit on fractions. Further study is suggested to determine which writing tasks are best suited for which particular learning goals in mathematics or any other content area.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Greg P. Stefanich


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