The process writing approach: A meta-analysis

Steve Graham, Karin Sandmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


The process approach to writing instruction is one of the most popular methods for teaching writing. The authors conducted meta-analysis of 29 experimental and quasi-experimental studies conducted with students in Grades 1-12 to examine if process writing instruction improves the quality of students' writing and motivation to write. For students in general education classes, process writing instruction resulted in a statistically significant, but relatively modest improvement in the overall quality of writing (average weighted effect size [ES] = 0.34). Variation in ES was not related to grade, reliability of the writing quality measure, professional development, genre assessed, or quality of study. The process writing approach neither resulted in a statistically significant improvement in students' motivation nor enhanced the quality of struggling writers' compositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-407
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Meta-analysis
  • Writing
  • Writing process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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