Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This quantitative, action research project sought to find out how the use of writing prompts in algebra could help students to i1nprove their conceptual understanding of the content. Before starting final exam review, thirty-five students from New York algebra classes were pre-tested on several concepts. The concepts that they scored the weakest in were used in the study. Brief instructional lessons, si1nilar to the lessons taught in the original units, were reviewed. Short writing prompts were given after each lesson. In an effort to improve students conceptual understand of the content, the writing prompts asked students to explain concepts, make generalizations, find and correct errors in completed work, and compare processes and concepts. A post-test, comprised of eleven of the same questions from the pre-test, was given after the three weeks of review. Students showed significant increases in their conceptual understanding of the content. A paired two sample for means, two-tailed, t-Test was used for each question to show that statistically there was a significant increase in the means between the pre-tests and the post-tests. The research concludes with suggestions on using writing prompts as closure activities at the end of lessons and to use the results of the writing prompts to guide warm-up activities for the next lesson in an effort to clarify student understanding of the concepts being taught.

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