Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


The purpose of this study was to determine what the effects were of students learning how to self-assess their own writing, specifically their written responses to literature. I determined what the effects were by assessing students' writing prior to and following discussion about self-assessment. The goal of this study was to find out if learning how to self-assess writing affects the quality of the writing.

I conducted my research on two small groups from a suburban elementary school in upstate New York. The participants consisted of three fourth grade students and four sixth grade students. The students were pulled out into a small group setting which mimicked their usual reading/writing instruction. The students discussed what they already knew about self-assessment and what they wanted to know about self-assessment.

The students then constructed a rubric to use in order to self-assess their written responses to literature. The students developed their written response to literature, self-assessed their writing, and turned it in. In order to analyze the students' writing, I looked at each of the students' two writing samples to compare and contrast them. I looked to see if the students' second responses were of better quality or not. I also looked at the students' responses from a grade level perspective to see which strands of the written response to literature the students were using and which strands they were not using. The students' scores all improved after learning how to self-assess their own written responses. All of the students addressed more strands of the written response to literature in their second response compared to their first response: Each of the students' self-assessment scores matched the score that I gave them using the rubric we created together. The sixth graders were also more likely to address literary criticism within their responses as compared to the fourth graders. The sixth graders performed better than the fourth graders, most likely due to the fact that they have had more experience with the Reader's Response. After interviewing the students following discussion and use of self-assessment, the students showed that they had gained an awareness of their abilities as a writer.