The study documented sources of individual differences in written composition. The stories written and told by 103 grade 4 children were analyzed according to a proposed model that separated dimensions of narrative quality (i.e., coherence, cohesion, and adherence to writing conventions) from linguistic productivity (i.e., the number of independent clauses, words, and different words). The results confirmed that different skills predicted each dimension after controlling for vocabulary, word reading, spelling, and reading comprehension. First, observed planning and revising behaviors were associated with texts that were more cohesive and linguistically productive. Second, children who reported reading more tended to write stories that were more coherent and adhered more to writing conventions. Third, oral storytelling dimensions each explained unique variance in the corresponding written narrative skill. In conclusion, considering written composition as multi-dimensional allowed for a greater understanding of the differential role of writing process factors, oral storytelling skills, and experiential factors.

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Keywords Narratives, Oral language, Planning, Print exposure, Revising, Written composition
Persistent URL
Journal Cognitive Development
Sénéchal, M, Hill, S. (Simon), & Malette, M. (Melissa). (2018). Individual differences in grade 4 children's written compositions: The role of online planning and revising, oral storytelling, and reading for pleasure. Cognitive Development, 45, 92–104. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2017.12.004