Purpose—We examined dimensions of written composition using multiple evaluative approaches such as an adapted 6+1 trait scoring, syntactic complexity measures, and productivity measures. We further examined unique relations of oral language and literacy skills to the identified dimensions of written composition.
Method—A large sample of first grade students (N = 527) was assessed on their language, reading, spelling, letter writing automaticity, and writing in the spring. Data were analyzed using a latent variable approach including confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.
Results—The seven traits in the 6+1 trait system were best described as two constructs: substantive quality, and spelling and writing conventions. When the other evaluation procedures such as productivity and syntactic complexity indicators were included, four dimensions emerged: substantive quality, productivity, syntactic complexity, and spelling and writing conventions. Language and literacy predictors were differentially related to each dimension in written composition.
Conclusions—These four dimensions may be a useful guideline for evaluating developing beginning writer’s compositions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/luana_greulich/9/