Procedures for Obtaining and Analyzing Writing Samples of School-Age Children and Adolescents Purpose Many students' writing skills are below grade-level expectations, and students with oral language difficulties are at particular risk for writing difficulties. Speech-language pathologists' (SLPs') expertise in language applies to both the oral and written modalities, yet evidence suggests that SLPs' confidence regarding writing assessment is low. Writing samples are ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   October 2015
Procedures for Obtaining and Analyzing Writing Samples of School-Age Children and Adolescents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanna R. Price
    Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC
  • Sandra C. Jackson
    North Carolina Central University, Durham
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Johanna R. Price: jprice@email.wcu.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Jeannene Ward-Lonergan
    Associate Editor: Jeannene Ward-Lonergan×
  • Copyright © 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   October 2015
Procedures for Obtaining and Analyzing Writing Samples of School-Age Children and Adolescents
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2015, Vol. 46, 277-293. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0057
History: Received June 4, 2014 , Revised November 3, 2014 , Accepted April 21, 2015
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2015, Vol. 46, 277-293. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0057
History: Received June 4, 2014; Revised November 3, 2014; Accepted April 21, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose Many students' writing skills are below grade-level expectations, and students with oral language difficulties are at particular risk for writing difficulties. Speech-language pathologists' (SLPs') expertise in language applies to both the oral and written modalities, yet evidence suggests that SLPs' confidence regarding writing assessment is low. Writing samples are a clinically useful, criterion-referenced assessment technique that is relevant to helping students satisfy writing-related requirements of the Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010a). This article provides recommendations for obtaining and analyzing students' writing samples.

Method In this tutorial, the authors provide a comprehensive literature review of methods regarding (a) collection of writing samples from narrative, expository (informational/explanatory), and persuasive (argument) genres; (b) variables of writing performance that are useful to assess; and (c) manual and computer-aided techniques for analyzing writing samples. The authors relate their findings to expectations for writing skills expressed in the Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010a).

Conclusion SLPs can readily implement many techniques for obtaining and analyzing writing samples. The information in this article provides SLPs with recommendations for the use of writing samples and may help increase SLPs' confidence regarding written language assessment.

Acknowledgments
Portions of the information in this article were presented at the Cullowhee Conference at Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC) in March 2014. We thank Erica Campbell for her assistance with the preparation of this article.
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