Recent writing research has yielded new interventions for improving college level composition, but less has been done regarding the high-level reading, reasoning, and writing necessary for research report writing. In the present research, this writing takes the form of annotated bibliographies based on primary source material. The current research will provide three conditions of instruction in a fixed order within subjects design, first, a writing thesis and support scoring guide, second, an instructor commented student model, and third, both the scoring guide and the student model.
The scoring guide is based on traditional methods that include detailed grading rubrics. The student model is based on observational learning and self-efficacy theory. Outcomes will be measured using the Essay Sort writing quality method and subject variables will include the Nelson-Denny Subtest of Reading Comprehension and the Health Sciences Reasoning Test. This research will determine the unique contributions of each variable to the quality of college students' scientific writing skills. An additive effect of the scoring guide and the student model on writing quality, controlling for reading and reasoning skill, would indicate that a grading rubric combined with a student model improves writing better than either technique alone, and for a wide range of students. The research is significant because it will inform the efficiency and efficacy of college-level writing instruction and theories of the writing process.