WWC review of this study

Increasing Story Quality through Planning and Revising: Effects on Young Writers with Learning Disabilities

Saddler, Bruce; Asaro, Kristie (2007). Learning Disability Quarterly, v30 n4 p223-234. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ786254

  • 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: 50%
    Male: 50%

  • Urban
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The study was conducted in an urban elementary school in the northeastern United States. The school’s student population was 52% White, 35% African-American, 7% Asian, and 6% Hispanic; approximately half 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 students in the sample, all of whom were 7 years old and in second grade. All students (three males, three females) were identified by their teacher as having LD in first grade, and their IQ scores ranged from 98 to 103. A special education co-teacher provided each student with additional support within their general education classroom. The sample included four African-American students and two White students.


The SRSD intervention model was used to teach students how to improve their story writing skills. The students participated in the SRSD intervention in pairs (Arnold and Maria; Gracie and George; and Scarlet and Rhett). The first and third pair covered the content of the intervention in 11 lessons, and the second pair needed 12 lessons. Lessons were taught three times a week in 30-minute sessions, outside of the general education classroom. The intervention included two strategies. The first was POW (pick ideas; organize notes; write and say more). During the “organize notes” stage of POW, the instructor also introduced the “WWW, What=2, How=2” mnemonic device which 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?” Both strategies were introduced in the first lesson and were repeated and reviewed at the start of each subsequent lesson. The students began writing their own stories using the strategies beginning in Lesson 2, with growing independence over time as they became more comfortable with the strategies. Post-training story probes were administered immediately following SRSD instruction.


The study used a multiple baseline design across pairs of participants for each of the four eligible outcomes. During the baseline condition, students received their regular writing instruction and wrote essays without receiving any strategy instruction.

Support for implementation

Not reported.


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