Date of Award

Spring 2003

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This study examined the effects of a graphic organizer, the Venn Diagram, on fourth graders' writing projects. The students' views and attitudes towards the effectiveness of the graphic organizer were considered and were determined by a student survey. This information was used to determine if the students felt the organizer improved their writing compared to a previously written essay that was created without, the organizer. Students received direct instruction on several different types of graphic organizers. In February, the students took the New York State English Language Arts exam where the students wrote an essay based on two stories. There was a planning page provided on the test. In the past, many students have not used the planning page even after direct instruction involving the use of graphic organizers. The researcher observed whether the fourth grade students chose to use a graphic organizer independently on the ELA test. All previous data were used to interview the students to ask why they have or have not used any of the organizers taught in class. The results of the study demonstrated that graphic organizers were beneficial to the students' writing. The study showed that the overall essay scores had minimal increases, however, fifty-seven percent of the students' "organization" score did increase. The study also revealed that the students felt their second writing piece, with the graphic organizer, was the better piece. Eighty-one percent of the students felt the graphic organizer was the reason their writing improved. As a result of the students' attitudes towards graphic organizers, seventy-one percent of them attempted to use a graphic organizer on the planning page of the New York State English Language Arts Test.