Examining the Effects of a Comprehensive Writing Program on the Writing Performance of Middle School Students With Learning Disabilities in Written Expression

Merilee McCurdy, Christopher Skinner, Steuart Watson, Mark D Shriver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Many students have difficulty in educational and employment settings because they have failed to master basic writing skills. Multiple-baseline across-tasks designs were used to evaluate the effects of the Comprehensive Writing Program (CWP), a multicomponent intervention, on the writing performance of all students (n = 17) from 3 9th-grade special education classrooms. The CWP included direct instruction, assignment choice, increased practice, group rewards, and individual feedback. Assessment procedures were used to collect data on 3 target skills: percentage of sentences that (a) were complete sentences, (b) contained adjectives, and (c) were compound sentences. Results suggest that the CWP increased students' performance on recently taught or retaught skills; however, not all increases were maintained. Discussion focuses on future applied and theoretical research designed to address limitations of the current study and to enhance the effectiveness of the CWP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-586
Number of pages16
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008



  • learning disabilities
  • middle school students
  • multiple baseline designs
  • writing
  • written language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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