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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
  • Hutchison, Leigh
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Many adolescent students in the United States struggle with the writing process, while frequently failing to implement strategies that are designed to aid in effective composing. Educational researchers have questioned why this may occur, because even struggling writers who have a conceptual understanding of strategies often fail to exert the effort required to use those strategies effectively. Researchers have recently begun to examine the interactions among cognition, motivation and affect that may influence students’ ability to successfully self-monitor and self-regulate their use of strategies as well as motivational processes. Although some researchers have examined specific aspects of motivation in writing, very few have investigated the reciprocal interactions among cognitive, motivational and affective factors in the self-regulated composing process. In order to address this gap in research, I have chosen to incorporate a recent model, the Metacognitive and Affective Model of Self-Regulated Learning (MASRL) developed by Efklides (2009, 2011), which has described the integrated interaction among cognitive, motivational and affective processes within self-regulated learning. This study is currently the first in which the MASRL model (Efklides, 2011) has been applied to the composing process in order to examine composing as a series of self-regulatory events, unique to the individual writer, that requires the simultaneous self-regulation of cognitive, motivational and affective processes. This study is a descriptive case-study, using multiple cases and triangulation of data sources to investigate the dynamic, recursive composing process in terms of self-regulatory events occurring in real time, for adolescent students at varying levels of ability. The study design targeted struggling writers in addition to competent writers, to determine the ways in which self-regulatory skills and affective processes interact with, and influence the onset and maintenance of motivation. Findings from this study revealed unique self-regulatory profiles for each of the nine participants; demonstrating interactive relations among self-efficacy beliefs, interest, feelings of difficulty, writing apprehension, and levels of effort and persistence throughout the composing process. The results provide a rich foundation of evidence to support an integrated model of composing that unfolds as a series of self-regulatory events in which specific cognitive, affective, and motivational factors unique to the individual writer interact at each self-regulatory phase, guided by the proactive agency of the writer. An analysis of each individual profile, in conjunction with cross-case trends, indicated that all students experienced feelings of difficulty during the composing task, either while initiating writing, or at transition points during composing, or both; prompting them to implement new strategies, adjust or change strategies, exert additional effort, or attempt to increase levels of interest in response to the challenges encountered while composing. Findings from the study also illuminated particular challenges faced by students at all levels of ability, and illustrated the role of feelings of difficulty in relation to self-efficacy and interest; with an emphasis on the role of feelings of difficulty (Efklides, 2009; 2011) as an important catalyst in self-regulated composing, which prompts the implementation of strategy use and increased effort.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Hooper, Stephen R.
  • Schunk, Dale
  • Swartz, Carl
  • Greene, Jeffrey
  • Simeonsson, Rune
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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