Writing Tasks in Content-area Instruction: A Systematic Review of the Literature
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Situated within the historical and current state of writing and adolescent literacy research, this systematic literature review screened 2,871 articles to determine the prevalent themes in current research on writing tasks in content-area classrooms. Each article in the final corpus of 37 studies was evaluated and coded using seven methodological quality indicators. The qualitative synthesis of studies is organized by the categories of context, cognition, and content, and the studies are grouped within each category by relevant themes in order to explore how the incorporation of writing tasks into content-area instruction benefits secondary students’ content-area learning and knowledge acquisition. Findings address themes such as the aspects of explicit-strategy and inquiry-based instruction, the impact of prewriting models, the role of metacognition and journaling, and the writing-related implications for content-area assessment. Suggestions of strategies for secondary content-area teachers to use in the integration of writing tasks into their instruction and future directions for research are offered.
Miller, Diane Morris (2014). Writing Tasks in Content-area Instruction: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from