Date of Graduation


Document Type



The purpose of this study was to devise and implement a pre-writing learning strategy to measure through syntactic analysis the growth in written products for twelve college freshmen with learning disabilities. Strategy training consisted of modeling, verbal rehearsal and prompting, without concurrent steps of positive and corrective feedback. Utilizing an A-B Follow-up design syntactic measurements of T-units and clauses were computed during baseline, treatment, and follow-up phases of the study. Results of means during each phase determined that 58% increased T-unit length and 50% increased clause length in their writings. The remaining subjects either remained the same or regressed in productivity of T-units and clauses. None of the subjects in this study reached the criteria level of mean T-unit length for non-learning disabled poor college freshman writers although 17% wrote T-units above the twelfth grade standard. While 42% wrote clauses in length that were above the twelfth grade level, only one student, 8%, attained mean clause measurements commensurate to the poor freshman college criteria. The lack of productivity was correlated with absence of feedback components which have previously been proven to enhance learning when present and to repel learning when absent from the teaching-learning process. Results implied that unless students were intrinsically motivated, strategy learning without positive and corrective feedback might not improve performance for learning disabled subjects with severe writing deficits.