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Running head: How Reading Affects Writing

How Reading Influences Writing


The Ways In Which Reading Sustained Argumentative Novels Influences Academic Writing at the
Undergraduate Level.
Emily McIntyre
Nevada State Collage

HOW READING AFFECTS WRITING

How Reading Influences Writing


The Ways In Which Reading Sustained Argumentative Novels Influences Academic Writing at the
Undergraduate Level.
Reading is an important part of curriculum throughout ones school experience. Many
classes require a student to read important literature. When students read sustained argumentative
novels they learn what it takes to be a strong writer, without knowing it. The best way of explaining
sustained argumentative novels is to think about classic novels, ones that are often required reading
at some point in ones school career. When students read for school and on their own they
inherently pick up important skills that will improve their writing. Students who read often tend to
have more confidence in different areas that pertain to writing. Since people learn from observation
those who read books are constantly introduced to now words and constantly observe examples of
proper grammar. A good book not only has colorful language but is full of the authors own ideas.
Students who often read original ideas will have confidence in writing about their own ideas, aided
by proper grammar. The grammar in books also hints to the reader what audience the author is
trying to reach. Students also gain an idea of audience and can see how to write to them when they
read. So, reading leads to confidence in grammar, ones own ideas, and writing to a specific audience.
Reading influences writing in one overall way, reading increases ones confidence in their writing.

HOW READING AFFECTS WRITING

Literature Review
Earlier research focused on writing influencing reading, which researchers proved that this is
true for the very first part of a childs life. When researchers realized that there was a change in their
data when they studied older children they figured out that children begin to learn to write from
their reading. This then began the research in older children and young adults for reading influencing
writing. One of my researchers encouraged this change within the academic community, Choo
(2010) when she said that The relationship between writing and reading is far more complex than
earlier researchers have imagined and further research therefore needs to establish the connection
between the two, particularly in examining how writing draws upon reading experiences(p.167).
Some researchers still focused on children such as (Ahmed, Wagner and Lopez; 2014, Kempe,
Eriksson-Gustavsson, & Samuelsson; 2011, and Parr and McNaughton; 2014). While (Choo; 2010
and Fisher and Frey; 2013) researched high school students.
Most of the journals from my research were educational journals. With examples and
reasons why students may not be as influenced by reading when it comes to writing as one would
expect to observe. As often found these journals suggest that it is the teachers fault that student
have a hard time connecting reading to writing. As shown by Choo (2010) For example, Shanahan
(1990) notes these distinctions; I have personally observed classrooms in which reading and writing
instruction and activity take place in different parts of the room, at different times of the day, with
different types of teacher involvement and different materials. The psychological connections of
reading and writing are often neglected in such situations (p.3) (p.167). Teachers are encouraged to
get students up from their desks and move around the classroom but must create a connection
between ideas in reading and ideas in writing. This was also found when Parr and McNaughton
(2014) observed teachers and concluded that It appears from the analyses presented that, overall,
the extent to which teachers make links in literacy instruction settings where they are leading the

HOW READING AFFECTS WRITING

learning as in guided reading and teacher-led writing is low. Considered in averages, this rate was
about one link per thousand words of classroom discourse (p.148). As observed in current students
right now Ahmed, Wagner, and Lopez (2014) notice a weak relation between reading and writing
processes, and a strong readingreading and writingwriting relation (p.421) this is because teachers
do not spend much time connecting ideas from reading to writing with their students. Teachers
often seem to be the ones who get the blame, Ahmed, Wagner, and Lopez(2014) continue by
describing their observation that reading instruction is prioritized over writing instruction in the
United States(p.432). This is also mentioned by Parr and McNaughton (2014) that there is not a
way that teachers are taught to develop the idea that reading and writing have similar concepts
(p.143). Since teachers struggle with fostering a connection between reading and writing Fisher and
Frey (2013) shared that there is evidence that student writing achievement has been stagnant for
years. (p.96). Even though teachers follow common core standards which Fisher and Frey (2013)
state that there should be growth in the different types of writing that students should be achieving
each year (p.96). Fisher and Frey (2013) go on to give their solution for the problem of student
attainment in writing, that If students are to meet the writing demands stated in the core standards,
they need regular opportunities across the learning day to engage in a range of writing tasks It
isnt fair to expect that students can get by with an occasional extended writing task and little in the
way of instruction and practice (p.100). Fisher and Frey (2013) also believe that students gain a
better understanding of concepts after they have written about them (p.97). More focus needs to be
given to developing a way for teachers to grow connections between reading and writing with their
students. In younger students Parr and McNaughton (2014) suggest that guided reading and writing
lessons, by their nature, each offer different opportunities to make links. (p.148) which can start the
growth from reading to confidence in writing.

HOW READING AFFECTS WRITING

All of my research has focused on proving the connection between reading to writing.
Starting at the basics that new students learn vocabulary and use this new vocabulary to write
Ahmed, Wagner, and Lopez (2014) agreed that the ability to read words correctly may facilitate
writing them correctly, via mastery of phoneme grapheme relations that are learned through
reading (Ehri, 2005) (p.431) then moved up another level with their research and stated our
findings suggest that the ability to read sentences facilitates writing them (p.431). While Kempe,
Eriksson-Gustavsson, & Samuelsson (2011) went into further detail by describing that skills in
reading comprehension have a strong impact on growth in vocabulary knowledge (Beck, Perfetti, &
McKeown, 1982; Nagy & Anderson, 1984; Nation, Clarke, Marshall, & Duran, 2004) (p.184) and
continued by expecting a fan-spread pattern across time for both reading comprehension and
vocabulary knowledge(p.184). They would agree with Parr and McNaughton (2014) when they
stated that reading and writing are seen to have sizeable complementary elements and the potential
to be mutually supportive (p.141). Going on from the word level to sentence level Ahmed, Wagner,
and Lopez (2014) described that Children who read for comprehension are more familiar with the
format of larger texts and story structures, and it is possible that skilled readers apply this
knowledge to their writing (p.431) they back up this claim with another statement that although
reading and writing are not inverse processes, they rely on similar cognitive mechanisms that allow
for simultaneous growth as well as transfer of knowledge(p.421). They best fit my description of
how reading influences writing when they say that reading and writing are related (and more so at
the word level) and that children apply the knowledge base used in reading to their writing across all
levels of language (Ahmed, Wagner, and Lopez; 2014)(p.430). Parr and McNaughton (2014)
construct an accurate representation of how reading and writing are related when they give the
example of how Readers plan reading around a purpose and activate prior background knowledge.
Writers go through similar processes; they have a purpose and think about what they know or need

HOW READING AFFECTS WRITING

to know to accomplish this purpose. Readers construct their own meaning from interpreting cues in
text; writers construct meaning while composing so as to convey their desired understandings to a
reader (p.142).
There are a great number of academics who have done research to prove that reading and
writing are related even though the conversation started by proving that writing influences reading. It
is amazing how an academic conversation can take a turn and change up what researchers are
looking for. Although there is some disagreement with how the research should be presented as
suggested by Ahmed, Wagner, and Lopez (2014) when they considered how to present their research
and stated that Although research supports the existence of bidirectional relations between reading
and writing (Abbott et al., 2010; Lerkkanen et al., 2004; Shanahan & Lomax, 1986, 1988), the results
of LCS modeling used in the present study were that reading-to-writing models were superior to
writing-to-reading and bidirectional models, especially for the word and text levels of writing.
(p.430). My research will focus on figuring out if there is a relationship between reading and writing
and if that relationship is strong. Since there is little research about undergraduate students I will use
my research to add to the conversation and give new ideas about how reading influences writing at
this different age group.
Methods
To grasp the amount of students who actually have read or read specific novels I would
conduct a quick survey. My survey would be in person to increase the number of responses I would
get. For best results I would need to give my survey to every student who attends NSC. Reaching
every student at NSC is a large task and may not be fully attainable. Reliable results could be attained
by spending a week and giving the survey to as many students on campus at each building as
possible. I may narrow down my surveys to just students in my English class since we are thinking

HOW READING AFFECTS WRITING

about writing in great detail. The survey to the class would ask questions to show a correlation
between reading and writing and hopefully how one influences the other.
I have already observed what happens to be a correlation between reading and writing in
student artifacts. For a full understanding on weather reading specific novels positively influences
student writing I can get more student artifacts from students who often read and those who do not
read often. Based on my research I would expect to see a distinct difference between the two groups
of student writers, especially in specific areas of writing.
The best observers of students writing are professors themselves. I also plan on
interviewing more professors about the topic of student writing and whether or not they think
students writing is influenced by their reading habits. I will also ask each instructor if they have
required reading and what types of reading they involve in their class. This would then lead to asking
them if they notice a difference in student writing after they have read a specific book, if they
observe a correlation.
Showing that these correlations prove caudation would mean a much larger and
complex study of certain students. Following many different students who attend NSC throughout
their undergraduate experience at NSC. Observing students who already read novels and students
who have not recently or have not read some of the types of reading should show a differences in
writing. Following multiple students for multiple semesters is a large task that I will not be able to do.
My results will then only show an implied correlation not causation.

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Discussion

Not much can be said at this point since I do not have any research of my own yet. I would
however like to add a few notes. One being the idea of shared knowledge. This idea came to me
from an interview with a professor who teaches education majors with a concentration in
mathematics. He introduced the idea of shared knowledge with the example of how at one point in
time all of America would sit down around their televisions and watch I Love Lucy. Since it was
common for people to be actively watching it anyone could talk to a stranger and they would know
about it, everyone understood what was going on in the show. If everyone grows up reading the
same books those people would all have a shared knowledge of the book including the main ideas
and concepts that are discussed in the book. Shared knowledge would be even stronger if it passed
generation so even ones parents, grandparents, and children would understand if they were to
describe an idea and use this common book to give an example. Unfortunately there are not many
standards left which means there is no shared knowledge anymore. If everyone read the same novels
in their free time everyone would have a greater confidence in sharing their ideas especially when
they can use examples from the book that everyone has experienced and will understand what they
are saying. It is interesting that not one researcher explored this concept although one wanted to add
one of their own.
An important point to add is that Ahmad, Wagner, and Lopez did at the end of their paper
call attention to the fact that they felt that handwriting also can impact how reading influences
writing. Although someone may be in the process of figuring out if this is true and why it might be,
I did not find any research about this topic or the idea of shared knowledge.

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References

Ahmed, Y., Wagner, R. K., & Lopez, D. (2014). Developmental Relations Between Reading
and Writing at the Word, Sentence, and Text Levels: A Latent Change Score Analysis. Journal Of
Educational Psychology, 106(2), 419-434. doi:10.1037/a0035692
Choo, S. S. (2010). Writing through Visual Acts of Reading: Incorporating Visual Aesthetics
in Integrated Writing and Reading Tasks.High School Journal, 93(4), 166-176.
Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2013). A Range of Writing Across the Content Areas. Reading Teacher,
67(2), 96-101. doi:10.1002/TRTR.1200
Kempe, C., Eriksson-Gustavsson, A., & Samuelsson, S. (2011). Are There any Matthew
Effects in Literacy and Cognitive Development?. Scandinavian Journal Of Educational Research, 55(2),
181-196. doi:10.1080/00313831.2011.554699
Parr, J. M., & McNaughton, S. (2014). Making connections: The nature and occurrence of
links in literacy teaching and learning. Australian Journal Of Language & Literacy, 37(3), 141-150.