An analysis of the self-evaluation strategy of reading one's drafts aloud as an aid to revision : a multi-modal approach

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St. John, Regina L.
Hanson, Linda K.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of English
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This mixed model study informed by a multi-modal approach investigated the relationship between reading aloud and the student revision process. Participants for this study were undergraduate juniors and seniors enrolled in any one of four sections of English 393 (Writing Competency Course) at Ball State University during the summer semester of 2003. These students had previously failed the Writing Competency Exam at Ball State; therefore, they had to complete English 393 successfully to fulfill Ball State's writing competency requirement and, ultimately, to graduate. Specifically, this study examined what types of surface and global features that these English 393 students noticed when reading their initial essay drafts aloud to themselves and what global revisions they made, if any, based upon these initial observations. Methods used were audio recordings, observation logs, multiple copies of student drafts, pre- and postattitudinal surveys, read-aloud surveys, post-revision surveys, introductory and concluding instructor surveys, additional instructor surveys, and reviews of composition/rhetoric textbooks.Results of this study indicated that students enrolled in English 393 courses at Ball State University during the summer of 2003 predominantly noticed surface features in their essays as a result of reading their initial drafts aloud to themselves. Therefore, using this read-aloud method did not prompt the large majority of these junior- and senior-level English 393 students to make global revisions in their drafts. They predominantly made surface-level revisions, indicative of the types of revisions that freshman college writers make. While one student from the population did make global revisions as a result of using the read-aloud method, the researcher attributed this anomaly to the student's probable oral learning style and/or the student's previous experience using the read-aloud method.