Recent Research

There is research to support the following ideas.
  • Students who read, write better than those who do not.
  • Students who read and write at age level are more likely  to become independent citizens.
  • Students on the high school level struggle with interpreting complex text (informational text).
  • Students who read and write habitually develop  more sophisticated vocabulary and writing
  • When students are given clear instructions with consistent feedback they are more likely to succeed
  • There is a direct relationship between vocabulary development and reading performance.

Two thousand and sixteen (2016) marks the seventh year since the Writing to Respond (WTR) approach has been in use in educational settings.  In spring of 2010, WTR became a structured process to engage students in writing to respond to text. In 2013, the approach evolved to include steps for writing to respond to test prompts. The successful classroom experience has since been shared with teachers in four school districts, two National Writing Project chapters, and one ASCD conference. The approach has been successful in Advanced Placement, Cambridge, ESOL, general education, and special needs classrooms.  

The following qualitative and quantitative data from the WTR process are from two populous high schools with diverse demographics and eligibility for title one funding.

Students who utilized the Writing to Respond to Text process for three consecutive years displayed the following results in comparison to students who had never encountered the process or who encountered the process for one semester.

  • Students developed appreciation for reading informational texts in class and on standardized tests.
  • Students were able to respond to reading in writing with ease and with better success than their counterparts.
  • Eighty percent of these students scored on the 50th percentile or better on reading test compared to those who did not experience the process.
  • Thirty percent of students who experienced the process for three semesters in two or more classes scored on the 70th percentile or better on standardized tests in reading and social studies.
  • Eighty-eight percent of the seniors who experienced the process for three consecutive years met writing requirements to begin credited English classes at the college level.

Students who experienced the Writing to Respond to Text and Test process for three semesters were more confident in their approach to the ACT writing test, and performed better than students with less than one semester of exposure to the WTR process.

From a group of fifty (50) Grade 11 students who took the ACT writing test because their colleges required it (NB score is out of 36 with 21 as acceptable entry score to avoid skills English for some colleges.):

  • 28 of these students scored 18 or better
  • 13 of these students scored 20 or higher
  • Of the 10 students who scored 23, three of them had a score of 15 or less in all other areas of the test.

Implications for teaching or for implementing the WTR process:

  • Students must read and write, frequently utilizing sources
  • Students should experience the WTR process for more than one consecutive year
  • Students should experience the WTR process across disciplines
  • Teachers/schools should conduct formative assessments (pre- and post-test) to measure growth
  • Schools should utilize data from standardized tests to measure effect


Click this link    to find out more about the benefits of WTR as an approach to developing a strong writing culture in schools. Like us on face book to receive discount coupons or a chance to win resources or visit our store at for more deals, or peruse pages of the books on

The focus is the process as an approach. The resources facilitate the implementation of the process. The goal of  the approach is to develop a culture of writing that endures beyond the test and the classroom.



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