National Writing Project

Local Site Research Initiative Resources

Featured Resources

Article Exploring Process, Inquiry, and the Benefits of Site Research Wins Award

December 2009
Art Peterson
Researchers from the South Coast Writing Project compared the classroom practice of teachers who had experienced their site's inquiry-based professional development with the practice of those who hadn't—and reaped unexpected benefits. More ›

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

October 2011
Sheridan Blau, Rosemary H. Cabe, Anne Elrod 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 ›

Improving Literacy Across the Curriculum: A Study of Instructional Development

November 2011
Anne Campos, Roger Peach
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 ›


Additional Resources

Local Sites Research Initiative V Missouri Writing Projects Network Study of Missouri Literacy Academies

November 2011
Keri Franklin, Amy Lannin
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 ›

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

November 2011
Sarah Hunt-Barron, Rebecca Kaminski, Dawn Hawkins, 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 ›

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

November 2011
Dawn Hawkins, Sarah Hunt-Barron, Harriett Williams, Rebecca Kaminski
This study documents the effects of a professional development program, Project WRITE (Write, Respond, Instruct, Talk, Evaluate): A Model for Changing Teaching Practice and Impacting Student Writing, conducted by Upstate Writing Project (UWP). The results highlight the important role of administrative support in transforming instructional practice and the importance of time in teacher development programs. More ›

The Development of Writing-Intensive School Environments over Time

November 2011
Avary Carhill, Anne Campos, Nancy Mintz, Marcie Wolfe
This report, based on the work of the New York City Writing Project, suggests that a consistent focus on literacy development across content areas (curricular cohesiveness) cannot be achieved in the absence of a mature professional community. Furthermore, a mature professional community will continue to benefit from professional development aimed at sustaining and enhancing an environment with a high degree of writing intensity, which ultimately affects both teacher practice and student learning outcomes. 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

September 2011
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 ›

Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction for Adolescent English Language Learners

August 2011
Leslie Patterson, Carol Wickstrom, 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 ›

Improving Students' Academic Writing: Building a Bridge to Success

August 2011
Juliet Wahleithner, Jayne Marlink
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 ›

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 ›

Prominent Feature Analysis: What It Means for the Classroom

English Journal, March 2010
Sherry Swain, Richard L. Graves, David Morse
The authors present an argument for and a guide to prominent feature analysis, which, unlike rubric-based scoring that assigns numerical values to abstract concepts, derives numerical values from the presence of rhetorical features. More ›

Building Leadership for a Sustained Districtwide Writing Improvement Program

February 2010
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 ›

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