Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Arthur E. Smith

Second Advisor

not legible

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker


The purpose of this study was to analyze individual and group patterns in written responses to literature. The subjects for this study were six fifth-graders of average reading ability. The subjects attended a suburban public school which was structurally designed on an open plan model. Each day in class, the subjects read two novels, The Black Pearl, and The Moldanado Miracle. The children composed written responses in their personal reading logs to what they read the previous night. The teacher wrote back to the children in their reading logs on a daily basis. Individual student responses were then categorized into areas of response (see Tables 1-7) to establish individual response patterns. Group (all six children) patterns were determined by compiling the individuals categorized responses. Samples of typical responses in each response category for each individual student were also recorded.

Two categories of response, Interpretive and Personal, received the greatest number of responses from all six subjects. The high number of responses in each of these two categories may be a result of the question used to prompt the children's written responses ("How did you feel about what you read last night?").

The other five categories of responses (Literary Judgment, Narrational, Personal Associational, Prescriptive, and Miscellaneous) showed no continuity for all six students. There was variety among students regarding the latter five categories. Perhaps the variety in these response categories among individuals refers to the fact that reading is a very highly personal interaction between reader and text.