A Comparative Study of Writing Topic Choices of the 1981, 1982, and 1983 Southwest Missouri State University Young Authors

Date of Graduation

Spring 1983


Master of Science in Education in Elementary Education


Childhood Education and Family Studies

Committee Chair

Roar Irgens


The purpose of this study was to investigate the difference in writing topic choices of young writers. The sample for this study included all the prose manuscripts which were selected for participation in the 1981, 1982, and 1983 Young Authors' Conferences at Southwest Missouri State University. Manuscripts submitted to the 1983 conference and data collected from the 1981 and 1982 conferences were examined to determine topic preferences. For the purpose of this study topics were collapsed into eight general areas representing common themes. These themes included: animals, travel/adventure, magic/fantasy, personal experience, social issues, sports, heritage, alphabet/circu/puzzles. Each manuscript was analyzed and categorized under one of these theme categories. Data were then analyzed by year, by grade level, and by sex of author. The three most popular choices were animals, personal experience, and magic/fantasy. Although the order of their popularity did not remain the same for all three years, these same three topic choices remained most preferred. The conclusion drawn from the study was that the topic choices remained fairly consistent for the three year period.

Subject Categories

Elementary Education and Teaching


© Judith A Bryant