Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Maryann T. Tobin

Committee Member

Lina Chiappone

Abstract

This study explored how using graphic novel features in the writing process influenced the motivation and engagement of fifth grade boys to write. Participants used graphica features to visually draft their narrative essays before crafting their final writing piece. During the drafting process, students were encouraged to engage in the revision process as their story ideas evolved through their drawings. The theoretical framework supporting this research was cultural historical activity theory (CHAT), developed by Vygotsky (1978). In addition to CHAT, the researcher used the underpinnings of Rosenblatt’s (1988) transactional theory as writers interacted with their written text. The study was designed as a focused ethnography relying on qualitative data and supported by data that sought to quantify participant writer’s self-perception along with motivation to write. Three questions guided this study: 1. How did drafting a story, using graphic novel features as a tool, affect the writer self-perception of fifth grade boys participating in an afterschool writing program? 2. How did drafting a story, using graphic novel features as a tool, affect the motivation to write of fifth grade boys participating in an afterschool writing program? 3. How did drafting a story, using graphic novel features as a tool, influence the use of descriptive vocabulary in the narrative writing of fifth grade boys? Data were collected through observations, interviews, personal narratives, and the WSPS and MRP-R instruments developed to quantify motivation and self-perception about writing. Overall, students demonstrated more engagement with, and a stronger commitment to, their writing. Participants became so motivated to write, they created a writing club (The Writers’ Club) and continued to meet after completion of the study.

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