An investigation of the relationship between cognitive style and revised compositions of fourth grade students

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Casey, Ronald W., 1950-
Miller, Ebert L.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of revision and no-revision upon the quantity and quality of written expression of fourth grade students. The study was additionally designed to observe if the relationship between the above variables was affected by a third variable, cognitive style.Data from 120 fourth grade students was analyzed in a two way multivariate analysis of variance. One independent variable consisted of two levels: revision/no revision. The other independent variable, cognitive style, consisted of four levels: reflective, fast/accurate, impulsive, slow/inaccurate. Equal numbers of subjects of each of the four levels of cognitive style were randomly assigned to revision or no-revision levels.There was no significant difference between non-revised and revised compositions across all dimensions of cognitive style considering the length and quality of the written product as the criteria for performance. Revised compositions were neither significantly longer nor rated significantly higher in quality than non-revised compositions.There was no significant difference between the cognitive style of students when composition length was examined. No category of cognitive style wrote significantly longer compositions than any other category.However, when the rated quality of the compositions was considered, there were two significant differences observed among the cognitive style groups. Students with a fast/accurate cognitive style wrote compositions that were rated significantly higher in quality than students who had an impulsive style. Also, fast/accurate students wrote significantly better compositions than students with a slow/inaccurate cognitive style. Reflective students did not differ significantly from any other group.The procedures used in this study to require fourth grade students to revise their compositions might not have provided for stimuli to exceed the assumed revising that occurs during the writing process itself. However, this study provided some support to the position that individual differences in processing information, i.e., cognitive style, had an effect on written expression.