National Writing Project

NWP Research Reports

Read the most recent research reports about the effectiveness of the National Writing Project.

NWP Research Brief (2010)

NWP's latest research results demonstrate that professional development programs designed and delivered by NWP sites have a positive effect on the writing achievement of students across grade levels, schools, and contexts. More ›

A Randomized Experiment of a Cognitive Strategies Approach to Text-Based Analytical Writing for Mainstreamed Latino English Language Learners in Grades 6 to 12 (2011)

James S. Kim, Carol Booth Olson, Robin Scarcella, Jason Kramer, Matthew Pearson, David van Dyk, Penny Collins, and Robert E. Land
This study reports Year 1 findings from a multisite cluster randomized controlled trial of a cognitive strategies approach to teaching text-based analytical writing for mainstreamed Latino English language learners (ELLs) in nine middle schools and six high schools. More ›

Effects of NWP Teaching Strategies on Elementary Students' Writing (2007)

Sherry Swain, Richard L. Graves, David Morse
This study documents a correlation between certain syntactic features in the writing of upper elementary school students and their scores on a state writing assessment and further demonstrates a correlation between students use of these positive features and their instruction by NWP-trained teachers. More›

Improving Literacy Across the Curriculum: A Study of Instructional Development (2008)

Roger Peach, Anne Campos
This study investigates how the New York City Writing Project's professional development for teachers contributed to instructional practices across the curriculum and to student writing outcomes. Of special note, the study found that students who had high exposure to Writing Project teachers made significantly greater gains across writing prompt administrations than those students who had moderate or little exposure to NYCWP through their teachers. More›

Improving Students' Academic Writing: Building a Bridge to Success (2009)

Jayne Marlink, Juliet Wahleithner
In 1998 the California Writing Project launched Improving Students' Academic Writing (ISAW) as a statewide evaluation initiative. The impact of ISAW on teachers' knowledge of analytical writing and on their instructional approaches to address analytical writing with their students positively impacted their students' writing. More›

Increasing Student Achievement in Writing Through Teacher Inquiry: An Evaluation of Professional Development Impact (2006)

Nancy Robb Singer, Diane Scollay
This study examines the effects of a yearlong professional development inservice program conducted in the Ferguson-Florissant School District, near St. Louis, Missouri. Gateway Writing Project provided the inservice, which aimed to increase teachers' understanding of writing pedagogy and improve their application of writing pedagogy in the classroom. More›

Alabama Secondary School English Teachers' National Writing Project Participation and Writing in Relation to Their Organization of the Classroom and to Student Achievement in Writing (2008)

Alyson Whyte
This study of 32 Alabama public secondary school English teachers and of 477 students in these teachers' classes demonstrated that NWP teachers wrote more extensively than comparison teachers.Also, teachers' higher level of ongoing involvement in NWP professional development activities predicted their students' achievement on nonroutine attributes of writing. More›

Evaluating Project WRITE: Determining the Impact of a Professional Development Program Focusing on a Writing Workshop Approach and the Traits of Quality Writing (2010)

Rebecca Kaminski, Sarah Hunt-Barron, Dawn Hawkins, and Harriett Williams
This report examines the effects of a yearlong, school-based professional development program on teacher practice and philosophy put on by South Carolina's Upstate Writing Project, and suggests that a workshop approach incorporating the traits of quality writing can be an effective way to prepare students for high-stakes testing and student writing performance. More›

The Effect of Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute Professional Development on the Writing Achievement of Ninth-Graders (2006)

Sherry Swain, Richard L. Graves, David Morse
Using data collected through interviews and classroom audits, this study compares the teaching practices of five program-school teachers with the teaching practices of five comparison-school teachers. Results showed that program students outperformed the comparison students in all areas. This study is part of the NWP's Local Site Research Initiative's Cohort II. More›

The Impact of the New York City Writing Project: Teacher and Student Outcomes of a Professional Development Model for Improving the Teaching of Writing (2006)

Anne Campos, Roger Peach
This study, which is part of the NWP's Local Site Research Initiative's Cohort II, investigates the impact of a partnership between the New York City Writing Project (NYCWP) and six high schools in a large urban district where challenges include poverty, low student achievement, inexperienced teachers, and increasing demands for high-stakes testing. More›

Evaluating IIMPaC: Teacher and Student Outcomes Through a Professional Development Program in the Teaching of Writing (2007)

Sheridan Blau, Rosemary H. Cabe, Anne Whitney
This study examined the effects of IIMPaC, a professional development program put on by California's South Coast Writing Project, which focuses on the teaching of writing. The study features eight language arts teachers of grades 4-8 and their students, and how the program impacted students' writing performance. More›

Building a District-Based Secondary Writing Program Through the National Writing Project Model (2007)

Nancy Robb Singer, Diane Scollay
This study examines the effects of a yearlong professional development inservice program conducted in the Mehlville School District near St. Louis, Missouri. Gateway Writing Project provided the inservice, which was based on established National Writing Project principles. More›

Through the Lens of the Family Writing Project: The Southern Nevada Writing Project's Impact on Student Writing and Teacher Practices (2006)

Marilyn McKinney, Saralyn Lasley, E. Michael Nussbaum
This study, which is part of NWP's Local Site Research Initiative's Cohort II, documents the effects of participation in the Family Writing Project (FWP), a family literacy program offered by the Southern Nevada Writing Project that provides opportunities for students, parents, and teachers from the highly diverse and mobile Las Vegas community to come together and write about matters important to their lives. This study is part of the NWP's Local Site Research Initiative's Cohort II. More›

The Impact of the New York City Writing Project: Teacher and Student Outcomes of a Professional Development Model for Improving the Teaching of Writing (2007)

Anne Campos, Roger Peach
This study, which is part of the NWP's Local Site Research Initiative's Cohort II, investigates the impact of a partnership between the New York City Writing Project (NYCWP) and six high schools in a large urban district where challenges include poverty, low student achievement, inexperienced teachers, and increasing demands for high-stakes testing. More›

Evaluating IIMPaC: Teacher and Student Outcomes Through a Professional Development Program in the Teaching of Writing (2006)

Sheridan Blau, Rosemary H. Cabe, Anne Whitney
This study, which is part of the NWP's Local Site Research Initiative's Cohort II, examined the effects of a professional development program, IIMPaC, which focuses on the teaching of writing. IIMPaC has operated for five years in partnership with low-performing schools that serve low-income populations with a substantial proportion of English language learners. More›

Missouri Writing Projects Network Study of Missouri Literacy Academies (2010)

Amy Lannin, Keri Franklin
This study analyzes the effects of the Literacy Academy, a statewide professional development program facilitated by the Missouri Writing Projects Network (MWPN). Results of this study suggest the effectiveness of the Literacy Academy model of the National Writing Project approach in improving student writing. Overall, program students improved more, and improved in more of the assessed categories, than comparison students. More›

Building Leadership for a Sustained District-wide Writing Improvement Program (2009)

Nancy Robb Singer, Diane Scollay
This study examines the effects of a three-year professional development program conducted in the Mehlville School District (MSD) near St. Louis, Missouri, from 2004 through 2007. Gateway Writing Project (GWP) provided the inservice program, which was based on established National Writing Project principles. More›

Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction for Adolescent English Language Learners (2010)

Carol Wickstrom, Leslie Patterson, Juan Araujo
This study, undertaken by the North Star of Texas Writing Project, demonstrates the effectiveness of culturally mediated writing instruction to professional development. The study found that such professional development is more likely to have positive effects on students when it is ongoing and when participating teachers receive follow-up support as they implement what they learned. More›

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