Writing expository essays from social studies texts: a self-regulated strategy development study

Alyson A. Collins, Stephen Ciullo, Steve Graham, Lisa L. Sigafoos, Sara Guerra, Marie David, Laura Judd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study examined the effectiveness of Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) to improve students’ ability to write expository essays after reading social studies text. Third-grade general education teachers (N = 14) were randomly assigned by clusters to SRSD or a business as usual control condition. One hundred and eighty consented students participated in the full study. Teachers in the SRSD condition participated in 12 h of practice-based professional development (PBPD) before implementing the SRSD intervention. They also received 30-min biweekly coaching sessions across the 16 weeks of the study. Initially, teachers provided SRSD strategy instruction in TIDE (Topic Sentence, Important Details, Explain Details, Ending) for planning and writing expository essays. Then, teachers spent an additional 8 weeks teaching students to use TIDE for close reading, planning, and writing expository essays using social studies text. Multilevel random effects models indicated SRSD students included more genre elements in their expository essays (ESg = 1.07) and produced essays of higher holistic quality (ESg = 0.72) than control students when writing an expository essay using a source text. Students in the SRSD condition also included more genre elements when writing an expository essay drawing content from memory (ESg = 1.09), and outperformed control students on a norm-referenced writing measure (ESg = 0.79). Findings support implementation of the SRSD intervention in general education classrooms within content-areas and underscore future directions for combining writing, reading, and social studies instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1651
Number of pages29
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Content-area learning
  • Reading
  • Social studies
  • Strategy instruction
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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