Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Werderich, Donna E.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Elementary education


This qualitative case study investigated the attitudes and perceptions of third grade students about themselves as writers and about their writing. Twenty-seven students were given the Writing Attitude Survey. Nine focal students were then selected, three at each of the researcher's defined attitude levels-positive, neutral, and negative. The nine focal students participated in interviews, observations, and provided writing samples. The attitude levels, based on the percentile scores from the Writing Attitude Survey, included positive attitudes (percentile scores above 75), neutral attitudes (percentile scores between 50 to 74), and negative attitudes (percentile scores below 49). Within case and cross case analyses were conducted with the focal students' data. Findings from the study indicated that students held both positive and negative perceptions about themselves as writers and about their writing and that these perceptions can be malleable. Students were also found to exhibit an awareness regarding influencing factors during writing. Students held preferences for writing individually or with a partner that varied both within and across the focal students. Students were found to engage in six different conversation categories. Students wrote in six different genres when writing free choice pieces. Based on findings from the study, the researcher developed a model for developing a writer. This model explores the root system of the writing process and Writer's Workshop. The branches of the model represented the findings from the study, perceptions, social interactions, and choice. Implications for practice include encouraging student interactions while writing and fostering students' perceptions as a way to help them improve as a writer.


Advisors: Donna Werderich.||Committee members: Laurie Elish-Piper; Laura R. Johnson.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


xi, 236 pages




Northern Illinois University

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