The dynamics of narrative writing in primary grade children: Writing process factors predict story quality
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In this study of third grade school children, we investigated the association between writing process measures recorded with key stroke logging and the final written product. Moreover, we examined the cognitive predictors of writing process and product measures. Analyses of key strokes showed that while most children spontaneously made local online revisions while writing, few revised previously written text. Children with good reading and spelling abilities made more online revisions than their peers. Two process factors, transcription fluency and online revision activity, contributed to explaining variance in narrative macrostructural quality and story length. As for cognitive predictors, spelling was the only factor that gave a unique contribution to explaining variance in writing process factors. Better spelling was associated with more revisions and faster transcription. The results show that developing writers’ ability to make online revisions in creative writing tasks is related to both the quality of the final written product and to individual literacy skills. More generally, the findings indicate that investigations of the dynamics of the writing process may provide insights into the factors that contribute to creative writing during early stages of literacy.