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Research - The National Writing Project

Featured Resources

An Evaluator's Perspective on the Importance of Federal Support of the National Writing Project

April 2008
This presentation prepared by Inverness Research for the National Writing Project's April 2008 Spring Meeting explains, from an evaluator's perspective, why and how NWP represents an important federal investment in the improvement of the nation's education system. More ›

Assessing the Long-term Impact of a Professional Support Community for Teachers: The Case of the National Writing Project

January 2008
At a congressional briefing, Paul LeMahieu, NWP director of research and evaluation, presented results from NWP's Legacy Study, which documents 30 years of teacher participation in the NWP, and the Local Site Research Initiative, which examines student writing in the classrooms of NWP teachers. More ›

Investing in the Improvement of Education: Lessons to be Learned from the National Writing Project

December 2008
Laura Stokes, Mark St. John
The authors argue that educational progress in the United States has been limited because improvement has been treated as "expenditure, not investment." The NWP, however, provides a model that creates a "robust, cost-efficient infrastructure for education improvement." More ›

 

Additional Resources

The Power of the NWP as it Makes an Evolutionary Leap Forward—An Evaluator's Perspective

March 2012
Mark St. John, Laura Stokes
This slide presentation includes an overview of data showing the NWP's cumulative leadership development and work accomplished over more than 35 years. It focuses on why the NWP is so strong and well positioned as it makes an evolutionary leap into a more uncertain funding environment: it is a true networked organization. More ›

National Writing Project Offers High-Quality Writing Assessment Services

March 2012
Over the past 8 years, the National Writing Project created and refined the Analytic Writing Continuum (AWC) Assessment System, originally based on the framework of the Six +1 Trait Writing Model (Bellamy, 2005), for research and instructional purposes. Unlike the holistic scores used in most large-scale writing assessments, which offer limited information about how improvements in student writing may be achieved, the AWC provides accurate assessment of both holistic and important performance attributes of writing. More ›

The Enduring Quality and Value of the National Writing Project's Teacher Development Institutes

November 2011
This report presents results from the 2009 Summer Institute survey and Spring 2010 follow-up survey. The results reflect NWP participants' perspectives on the quality and value of NWP institutes and follow-up programs, as well as the impact of those programs on their classroom practices and development as leaders. More ›

SRI Conducts Evaluation of National Writing Project Professional Development and Its Effect on Student Writing Achievement

June 2011
SRI International has been commissioned by the NWP to conduct an independent five-year study to examine changes in students' writing performance, students' writing practices, teachers' instructional practices, and teachers' professional communities in middle schools that have formed partnerships with local National Writing Project sites. The study was launched in November 2006. More ›

Variation of Writing Instructional Practices (Despite Pressures to Standardize)

June 2011
Suzie Null, a teacher-consultant with the Bisti Writing Project in New Mexico, finds that middle school teachers in program improvement schools in Southern California who have gone through NWP programs tend to use more materials, more teaching techniques, a broader range of interactions, and a broader range of learning opportunities for students than teachers who haven't gone through NWP programs. More ›

Understanding the Effectiveness of the National Writing Project

March 2011
This slide presentation uses data from summer institute participant surveys, the annual site profile, the NWP legacy study, and the Local Site Research Initiative to demonstrate the effectiveness of the National Writing Project in providing high quality professional development that translates into improved student writing. More ›

Keeping the Promise of the 21st Century: Bringing Classroom Teaching into the Digital Age

April 2009
Over the four years of the Technology Initiative, NWP accelerated growth in its cadre of teacher-consultants, created new classroom-tested practices, produced programs on using technology for teaching, and helped engage students in active learning of subject matter that is tied to meaningful learning goals, reports Inverness Research in this policy brief. More ›

Investing in the NWP: The Creation of Educational Capital

November 2008
Mark St. John, Laura Stokes
The authors from Inverness Research argue that investment in NWP is not simply "expenditure." Rather, the NWP structure allows for the creation of varied forms of "educational capital" that contribute to the continuing improvement of writing in the nation's schools. More ›

NWP 2008 Research Brief: Writing Project Professional Development for Teachers Yields Gains in Student Writing Achievement

August 2008
This Research Brief summarizes nine studies that examined the effects of NWP professional development programs on teacher practices and student writing achievement in schools and districts served by writing project sites. The results demonstrate positive effects on the writing achievement of students of writing project teachers across a range of grade levels, schools, and contexts. More ›

Local Site Research Initiative Cohorts II and III (2004–2005, 2005–2006)

May 2008
This growing national portfolio of locally defined research projects studies the impact of the writing project model on teachers and students in a range of contexts, all featuring intensive professional development partnerships between NWP sites and schools or districts. 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 ›

The National Writing Project: Commitment and Competence

2007
Ann Lieberman
Ann Lieberman traces how the interplay of program strength and funder acuity have yielded a writing initiative that has clarified what worked and purged what didn't. More ›

Research Studies Continue to Show Impact of NWP Programs

April 2007
Sherry Swain, Paul LeMahieu, Linda Friedrich, Sela Fessehaie, Kareen Mo Yang
The latest research conducted at writing project sites in five states shows significant gains in writing achievement for students of teachers who have participated in NWP programs. More ›

Effects of NWP Teaching Strategies on Elementary Students’ Writing

July 2007
David Morse, Richard L. Graves, Sherry Swain
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 ›

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

2006
Sheridan Blau, Anne Whitney, Rosemary H. Cabe
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 ›

Local Site Research Initiative: Results and Reflections

The Voice, 2006
Linda Friedrich, Paul LeMahieu, Margaret Perrow, Sherry Swain
Five NWP sites conducted locally defined studies involving program and comparison groups to investigate how key aspects of their programs contributed to changes in teaching practices and student achievement in writing; the results consistently favored the NWP. More ›

Summary Report of National Research Results: Cohort II (2004-2005)

2006
Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Richard Sterling, Judy Buchanan, Paul LeMahieu, Linda Friedrich
This report describes the activities and results of the second year of the Local Site Research Initiative of the National Writing Project. Rigorous comparative studies from five NWP sites indicate positive effects on student writing based upon independent national scoring. More ›

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

2006
Sherry Swain, David Morse, Richard L. Graves
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
Roger Peach, Anne Campos
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 ›

Through the Lens of the Family Writing Project: The Southern Nevada Writing Project’s Impact on Student Writing and Teacher Practices

2006
E. Michael Nussbaum, Saralyn Lasley, Marilyn McKinney
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 Local Site Research Initiative: Learning Important Lessons and Setting Future Direction

The Voice, 2005
Linda Friedrich, Paul LeMahieu
Through the Local Site Research Initiative, NWP is building rigorous, context-specific evaluation studies focusing on writing project sites' work. Participating sites design and conduct a research study framed by locally important questions. More ›

New NWP Study Explores Teachers' Learning, Leadership, and Legacy

The Voice, 2004
Linda Friedrich, Paul LeMahieu
A new NWP study asks the question, "How are the leadership talents of NWP teacher-consultants identified, cultivated, and sustained?" More ›

NWP Funds Local Research Studies

The Voice, 2003
Linda Friedrich, Paul LeMahieu
In August, the National Writing Project launched the Local Site Research Initiative with the announcement of awards to six sites. More ›

Inverness Report Surveys Benefits of Summer Institutes for Teachers and Students

The Voice, May-June 2002
Carl Nagin
A report from a survey of summer institute participants confirms that NWP institutes offer "valuable and influential professional development experience to teachers." More ›

Report Finds NWP Helps Improve Student Achievement

The Voice, September-October 2002
The Academy for Educational Development's second-year evaluation report found that NWP teachers' assignments elicit "authentic intellectual work," and their students write much more often than students without writing project teachers. More ›

Do NWP Teachers Make a Difference?

The Quarterly, Summer 2002
Jon Marshall, Ruie Pritchard
The authors unveil some unsettling circumstances about teacher disincentives to initiate change. They define some of the constraints on the impact teachers can have in this age of standards and accountability. More ›

NWP Evaluation Continues to Show Positive Results

The Voice, September-October 2001
Andy Bradshaw
The Academy for Educational Development presents findings from an analysis of NWP teacher assignments and corresponding student work. More ›

How NWP Works: Measuring Our Success

The Voice, May-June 2000
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After the Summer Institute: Longitudinal Follow-up of Fellows in the Classroom

The Quarterly, Fall 1993
Suzanne Bratcher, Elizabeth Stroble
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Tradition and the Indiana Writing Project

The Quarterly, July 1987
Forrest Houlette, Paul Ranieri
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Assessment of the Chicago Area Writing Project

The Quarterly, February 1981
Anne Mickles, Betty Jane Wagner, Steve Zemelman
In 1981, using the primary scoring system developed by NAEP, the authors analyze writing samples from CAWP teachers to document the efficacy of NWP techniques and strategies. More ›

Writing Projects: Centers of Knowing

The Quarterly, February 1981
Sam Watson
Watson writes, "Teachers who compose a writing project are its center, but as a center of knowing, a project's periphery is open to discover commonalities and differences beyond the project itself." More ›

Knowledge: A Dimension the Writing Project Model Neglects?

The Quarterly, May 1980
Sam Watson
Watson makes a plea for "continuing to hear our own voices as writers and learning from our varied experiences as writing teachers, [but] also hearing those other voices which appear in print." More ›

Consistent Evaluation Plan Sought

The Quarterly, March 1979
More ›

Notes on a Working Hypothesis

The Quarterly, May 1979
James Britton
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Evaluation of the Bay Area Writing Project: The Scriven Report

The Quarterly, November 1979
Michael Scriven
More ›

My NWP Odyssey

November 2007
Ann Lieberman
Ann Lieberman shares highlights of her work with the National Writing Project, from her first electrifying meeting with NWP teachers to the new understanding of leadership that emerged from the Legacy Study. More ›

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