Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Maryanne Wangemann



Writing continues to be difficult for adolescents throughout the United States. There is little known about writing from the adolescent's perspective. This case study describes six 8th graders' thoughts and motivations on writing. The purpose of the current study was to examine the perceptions and experiences of struggling adolescent writers by taped participant interviews of six students, three male and three female, which scored below proficient on their state writing assessment. The conceptual theoretical framework for the current study is Bandura's social cognitive theory. The central research question of this study focused on the experiences of adolescents who struggle with writing on state assessments. Qualitative data were collected during a three week period and analyzed in two stages. Stage 1 was the analytical compiling of the data into categories; stage 2 examined the data for patterns, themes, and relationships. Thematic analysis revealed six themes. Analysis of data supported the theoretical framework that students who struggle with writing were low on morale and motivation on writing assignments. Results of the study included a desire in the students to excel on their writing assignments, but the eagerness was subdued by the challenges they faced in writing. The data showed that students struggle with the amount of knowledge they have on a given topic and the techniques used to write a coherent sentence. Students stated that they need guidance to gather information on a given topic and with organization of their writing. In response to the students' perceptive, teacher can plan, implement, and guide students towards success in writing. This study can contribute to social change as it will guide teachers of writing instruction strategies that will respond to the challenge of mastering a difficult and complex subject.