Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Richard L. Allington

Committee Members

Anne McGill-Franzen, Stergios G. Botzakis, Schuyler W. Huck


This study sought to determine whether students were capable of selecting appropriately leveled text for independent reading and whether students read those books once they were selected. A sample size of 155 students from a metropolitan area of the southeastern United States was studied. During the first interview, the researcher collected data concerning how the student selected the book. The student was then allowed to take the book home. A follow-up interview consisted of having the student read a pre-selected portion of the text and was followed by three comprehension questions. Researcher compared the readability level as determined by Lexile measures with those of the researcher’s comprehension questions. The researcher found that students were more likely to choose a book that was below the reading level where they were deemed proficient, yet students were not likely to correctly answer comprehension questions based on those selections. Overwhelmingly, students did not read the books they chose over the two week period the students were given.

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