Teaching writing to middle school students: A national survey

Steve Graham, Andrea Capizzi, Karen R. Harris, Michael Hebert, Paul Morphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


A random sample of language arts, social studies, and science middle school teachers from the United States were surveyed about their preparation to teach writing, beliefs about responsibilities for teaching writing, use of evidence-based writing practices, assessment of writing, use of technology, and adaptations for struggling writers. The findings from this survey raised concerns about the quality of middle school writing instruction. Many teachers believed their preservice and inservice preparation to teach writing was inadequate. Middle school students spend little time writing or being taught how to write. While most teachers used a variety of evidenced-based writing practices and made adaptations for struggling writers, such methods were applied infrequently. Most teachers did not appear to use assessment data to shape how they taught writing, and computers played a relatively minor role in middle school writing instruction. Even though teachers generally agreed that writing was a collective responsibility, language arts teachers placed a greater emphasis on writing instruction than social studies and science teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1042
Number of pages28
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Middle schools
  • National survey
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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