Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kim Nisbett


Writing is an essential skill that students need in order to become successful in school and beyond. Within a school district in the southwestern United States, student writing scores were not at proficient levels, and students were not prepared for graduation or employment. The purpose of this quasi-experimental research study was to compare the distribution of student writing achievement scores for 5th grade teachers who used 7 or more of the 11 components of effective writing instruction outlined by Graham and Perin to those teachers who implemented 6 or fewer of these components. In this study, a survey was given to 35 teachers from the lowest and highest performing schools in each performance zone or geographic cluster of schools across the school district, to discover how many of the components from Graham and Perin's model were used. The results of this project study were insignificant and indicated that the number and frequency of strategies were not related to student proficiency as measured by the state's writing proficiency exam. Results from this study will be shared with district leaders in a white paper report. The report includes recommendations to create a district-based writing framework with research-based instructional strategies. Although the results from this study were insignificant, the results have added to the body of knowledge in writing instruction. The white paper report can be used as a foundation for teachers, principals, and curriculum developers to improve writing instruction and achievement in this and other school districts.