Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Carol Knicker




"Abstract This action research project aims to understand how accommodations typically reserved for students with documented academic needs can aid students without these plans while simultaneously preserving academic rigor and integrity. The desire for this research came out of the need to help students that slipped through cracks of the education system–they did not have or desire formal academic accommodations but may have had the need. These students may have had good enough grades to avoid detection or referrals but could have still benefited from a more intentional approach. This project surveyed students about their own views of their writing abilities, garnered feedback from students about their structured, extra help sessions that occurred outside of the class periods, excerpts from student outlines and quote guides, and teacher reflections. Overall, the researcher found that a broad spectrum of self-identities as writers exists in a classroom; some students feel that they are high powered writers, but the majority feels that they are capable but still in need of help and guidance. This help and guidance manifested itself in the extra help sessions, as participants overwhelmingly felt that having a small group to work in with more direct instruction from a teacher was integral in their accomplishment of a research paper unit. Similarly, structured outlines that supported paper organization and flow were beneficial for typically low performing students in catching up to students that are typically performing at the middle level. This research does not provide solutions to all questions about teaching writing but does provide insight to teachers of how they can better support all students in their classrooms. "