Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Olivia Stewart

Second Advisor

Brett Blake


Writing places heavy demands on students’ cognitive capacity. Existing research suggests that planning before writing can help to alleviate this cognitive burden; thus improving the quality of student writing. In this explanatory sequential mixed-methods study, the researcher examined the efficacy of specific pre-planning tools on students’ paragraph writing by assessing the pre-and post-writing assessment scores of students who were assigned to three different conditions- a group who planned their paragraph by using a Single-Paragraph Outline (SPO), which is a linear outline, a group that planned their paragraph by using a concept map, and a group that did not plan their paragraph with a specific planning tool. Through post-assessment questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, the researcher gained insights into students’ perceptions of the writing tools. Based on the statistical analysis of the pre-and post-assessment scores, students who planned their writing with an SPO outperformed students who planned with a concept map and students who did not use a planning tool.