Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Motivation in education; Composition (Language arts) -- Study and teaching (Middle school);


The purpose of this study was to examine the amount of time on task by students who chose their own writing topics as compared to the amount of time on task by students who wrote on teacher assigned topics. Thirtyeight 7th graders from two intact language arts classes were the subjects in this study. The time on task was logged daily and measured in minutes spent prewriting, writing, revising and conferencing. At-test indicated that there was a significant difference in time on task (p < .001) between paragraphs in which students were allowed to self select topics and those in which the topic was teacher assigned. The students spent more time on self selected topics. The results of this study are significant to teachers of writing. When maximum writing time or practice in writing are desired outcomes, students should be allowed to self select topics.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Greg P. Stefanich


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Date Original


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