WWC review of this study

Increasing Story-Writing Ability through Self-Regulated Strategy Development: Effects on Young Writers with Learning Disabilities

Saddler, Bruce (2006). Learning Disability Quarterly, v29 n4 p291-305. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ786220

  • Single Case Design
    , grade

Reviewed: October 2017

Meets WWC standards with reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please see Self-Regulated Strategy Development Intervention Report (841 KB)

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 33%
    Male: 67%

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The study was conducted in an urban elementary school in the northeastern United States. The school’s population was 50% White, 37% African-American, 7% Asian, and 6% Hispanic; 48% of the students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch. The students’ intervention took place in a room outside of their general education classroom.

Study sample

There were six 7-year-old students in the sample from five second-grade classrooms. School staff identified the students as having LD while they were in first grade, and their current teachers identified them as struggling writers. The students were all African American; four were male (Mike, John, Larry, and George) and two were female (Tracy and Alice). All six students were reading at the first-grade level, and their full-scale IQ scores from the Stanford-Binet ranged from 89 to 102. The students received co-teaching support during their general education language arts classes from a special education teacher.


The SRSD intervention used in this study included six lessons (some of which took multiple sessions) to help students improve their planning and story writing skills. A graduate student implemented the intervention to pairs of students. Students met with the instructor for 30 minutes per session, three times a week. The training sessions took place outside of the student’s typical general education classroom, and students were still in their class during regular writing instruction. The number of sessions was either 10 or 11, as each group moved through the lessons at their own pace. Lesson 1 focused on developing background knowledge, including introducing two mnemonic devices. POW reminded students to pick ideas, organize notes, and write and say more. The “WWW, What=2, How=2” device asked students to think about the following prompts: “Who are the main characters? When does the story take place? Where does the story take place? What do the main characters want to do? What happens when the main characters try to do it? How does the story end? How do the main characters feel?” Lesson 2 consisted of review and practice. Lesson 3 used self-statements designed to elicit story ideas. Lesson 4, which was repeated twice, involved a student-led collaborative writing exercise with the instructor. Lesson 5 involved another story writing exercise, but without the graphic organizer, and was repeated (two to three times) for each group until all seven story parts were included. Lesson 6 involved a story writing exercise without instructor assistance. Post-training story probes were administered immediately following SRSD instruction.


The study used multiple probe designs across pairs of students for each outcome. During the baseline condition, students wrote essays and participated in their regular writing instruction with their teachers in a general education classroom.

Support for implementation

The study author trained the graduate student instructor. The author modeled each lesson and then observed the graduate student’s implementation of the lesson.

Reviewed: June 2012

Meets WWC standards with reservations

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

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