Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Lisa A. Heaton

Second Advisor

Terrence Stange

Third Advisor

Sam Securro

Fourth Advisor

Vaughn Rhudy


This study’s purpose was to determine the effects of students practicing writing using practice writing prompts prior to completing the summative state writing assessment. It adds data to the body of knowledge related to the use of practicing writing using practice prompts prior to students taking a high stakes state-level writing assessment. The type of research design used for this study was a quantitative, post hoc, 2 x 2 ANOVA. The data were obtained from the WESTEST 2 Online Writing composite scores and the five analytic trait scores that comprise the WESTEST 2 Online Writing scores. The study had a population of 6,459 11th grade students enrolled in West Virginia public schools. These students had all taken the WESTEST 2 Online Writing as 11th graders in the spring of 2013, and in preparation for the year-end, state level writing assessment completed either Writing Roadmap 2.0 prompts or WESTEST 2 practice prompts. Using random sampling, 190 students who wrote essays using WESTEST 2 practice prompts and 190 students who wrote essays using Writing Roadmap prompts were selected from the student population. This gave a total of 380 students in the sample size. Findings revealed that no significant effects were found when using one type of writing prompt over another on composite writing scores or on the five analytic writing scores. However, significance was demonstrated (p. 000) with the scores of females being greater than male students. Results gave stakeholders evidence that students who had a generic writing prompt versus a mirror image of the high stakes writing assessment scored no better or worse than the other. The new assessment vendors, states, counties, schools, and teachers will all benefit from these study findings as new assessment systems are adopted based on Common Core writing standards across the nation. The results are critical in supporting the discrepancy that stands between females and males and their writing proficiencies. This study can support efforts that focus on addressing the inequalities and ensuring that the discrepancy is removed and male students become better writers.


Educational tests and measurements - West Virginia - Evaluation.