Early Writing Intervention: A Best Evidence Synthesis

Kristen L. McMaster, Amy Kunkel, Jaehyun Shin, Pyung Gang Jung, Erica Lembke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The purpose of this best evidence synthesis was to identify promising interventions that align with a theoretical model of early writing development, targeting three components of early writing: transcription, text generation, and self-regulation. We determined the extent to which these interventions are effective for children who struggle with early writing skills, by calculating effect sizes for group and single-subject designs, and we examined the overall quality of the research. Twenty-five studies met inclusion criteria. Among group design studies, mean effects (Hedge’s g) ranged from 0.19 to 1.17 for measures of writing quantity and from 0.17 to 0.85 for measures of writing quality. Percentage of all nonoverlapping data for single-subject designs ranged from 83% to 100% for measures of writing quantity. Interventions with the strongest evidence of effects and highest methodological quality are described in detail. Recommendations for research and practice are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324A130144 to the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2017.


  • age
  • elementary
  • written language


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