Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Julie Williams




The purpose of this action research study is to examine the use of nonfiction text structures (i.e. mentor texts, signal words, and thinking maps) in both English language arts (ELA) and science classes to evaluate the comprehension of topics and concepts through student writing samples. The researchers used multiple data sources to better understand how the instruction of nonfiction text structures affects the ability of sixth-grade students to express their comprehension through writing. Confidential preand post-feedback forms were used to gauge student perceptions of writing improvement and comprehension. Each teacher also conducted confidential student conferences twice during the study and used a common rubric to assess writing samples. The researchers triangulated data to investigate the effects on students’ writing skills, their perception of those skills, and the instruction of writing for/in various classes. Following the analysis of data for meaningful trends, the researchers found that interdisciplinary writing instruction was best supported when teachers collaboratively create and implement common strategies and assessments.

Included in

Education Commons