Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to determine whether 120 fifth-grade students composed significantly better writing using word processors than using pencil and paper. The subjects included 65 males and 55 females. Following an introductory lesson in keyboarding and instruction on the Bank Street Writer word processing program, randomly selected control and treatment groups participated in sixteen 45-minute sessions of prewriting, writing, and revising expository paragraphs and essays. Both groups used a process approach to writing. Trained scorers evaluated the compositions. Results were tabulated using MANOVA to test for significant differences between groups. Level of significance was set at .05. Though results indicated a trend toward improved writing with word processors, no significant difference was found in overall treatment effects. However, significant differences between students' writing by teacher were established. This study indicated that, over the short term, use of the word processor by students does not result in significantly better writing. Researchers seeking more immediate results might investigate teacher variables. Further study over a longer duration using older subjects more familiar with word processing may substantiate a positive relationship between word processing and improved writing.



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