Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Lisa B. Mintz



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Ed Psychology and Research


Educational Psychology

Committee Chair

Yeh Hsueh

Committee Member

Arthur Graesser

Committee Member

Denise Winsor


Writing is a skill that is highly individualized in terms of style and method of practice. Individual differences in writing strategy preferences have been demonstrated, but little is known about what factors contribute to the development of these preferences. Previous studies have demonstrated a relationship between self-monitoring, planning strategy type, and idea generation. However, there is little research that has investigated the effects of planning strategies and self-monitoring on essay cohesion. The current thesis investigates the relation between self-monitoring and essay planning strategies in essay cohesion and idea generation. Participants were administered the Snyder Self-monitoring inventory and were assigned to either outlining strategy or freewriting strategy conditions before writing an essay. Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), a method of assessing the semantic similarity between sentences and paragraphs, was used to measure the semantic cohesion of participants’ writing. Idea generation was measured as the number of ideas that participants listed after writing their essays. The results indicated that only the high self-monitors produced significantly more ideas in the freewriting condition than in the outlining condition. High self-monitors who outlined as opposed to engaged in freewriting had higher LSA overlap cohesion. Low self-monitors who outlined as opposed to engaging in freewriting had higher LSA adjacent sentence cohesion. The results support theoretical models of text production and advance our understanding of the effects of individual differences and planning strategies on writing.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.