Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Thomas N. Turner

Committee Members

Vincent Anfara, Charles H. Hargis, Schuyler Huck


The purpose of this study was to determine what effect, if any, the use of "preferred principles in writing instruction" had on Advanced Placement (AP) secondary school students' intrinsic motivation to write. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected in a mixed methods, concurrent triangulation design. Prior to the study, ten research-based best practices in writing instruction were identified and implemented in two eleventh-grade high school English classes. Forty-one students participated in the study. The Biggs (1987) Learning Process Questionnaire was adapted to determine the motivation of these students in regard to writing. Treatment consisted of 66 class meetings in which the researcher employed "preferred principles in writing instruction." Data sources included a focus group session, documents, and observations of student responses to writing instruction. Based on the students' pre- and post-treatment questionnaire scores and their behaviors and comments, the researcher concluded that: (1) Teachers can improve the intrinsic motivation of students to write by using the "preferred principles in writing instruction," (2) The most effective "preferred principles in writing instruction" are those that increase student autonomy and develop the students' sense of self-efficacy, (3) Intrinsic motivation to write is a complex entity that depends on a variety of factors, and ( 4) Students already possessing significant intrinsic motivation to write do not lose this motivation due to the use of "preferred principles in writing instruction."

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