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Title:The Effects of Three Levels of Prewriting Questions Upon The Written Responses of College Freshmen to Short Stories
Author(s):Quirk, Donald Lawrence
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of three levels of specificity of prewriting questions and the effects of story selection upon the written responses of college freshmen to short stories. Subjects read one of two short stories, one best described as unconventional in terms of its theme and technique and the other more conventional in theme and style. Next, subjects responded to a questionnaire requesting that they rate questions that might be asked about a work of literature according to their appropriateness to the story read. One questionnaire provided sixteen relatively specific questions; a second, four general questions; a third, no questions at all but which simply requested that they propose three questions of their own. Finally, subjects were given thirty minutes to write an essay about the story read.
Raters analyzed each essay by dividing it into statements, classifying the content of each statement and the content of the essay as a whole, judging the quality of each essay, and estimating the quantity of response by tallying the total number of statements in each essay.
A multivariate analysis of variance and a chi-square analysis revealed significant differences in the content of response, both on the statement and essay levels, attributable to story. An univariate analysis of variance revealed a significant difference in the quality of response attributable to story, and a second univariate analysis found no significant differences in the quantity of response. Small differences in content and quality of response attributable to questionnaire, although suggestive, were not significant.
The researcher concluded that (1) the dominant response mode is interpretation, (2) curtailed prewriting time lessens the quality of the essays, (3) students lack expertise in discussing unconventional stories, and (4) students react to unconventional stories with different response strategies from those used with more familiar texts.
Issue Date:1982
Description:150 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8218542
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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