Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Mary Hedenstrom




This action research project sought to determine the effects of authentic writing on third-grade student motivation and achievement in writing. This study took place over the course of four weeks with 21 third-grade students in a suburban elementary school. Students participated in an authentic writing project that involved writing letters to a favorite author. Data was collected in the forms of pre and post-intervention writing attitude surveys, observational notes, and one-on-one student writing conference notes to assess the effects on student motivation. A rubric was used to grade baseline writing samples and post-intervention writing to assess the effects on writing achievement. Positive effects were found regarding increased motivation for writing, increased self-efficacy, and increased understanding of the importance of writing outside of school. Results were inconclusive regarding the effects on writing achievement. Future research is suggested to extend the length of the study to determine the effects authentic writing has on third-grade writing achievement.