Patrice Steller

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education


Language, Literacy, and Special Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Madden, Marjorie


Blogs; Language arts (Middle school); Literature--Study and teaching


Secondary Education and Teaching


The purpose of this research inquiry was to investigate what happens when eighth grade students participate in an online classroom blog in response to literature assigned for their English class. The study was conducted in an eighth grade classroom and involved 37 students. The qualitative research paradigm was followed and data collected included student surveys, blog writing samples, classroom writing samples, and observational field notes. Blog posts were analyzed to ascertain their impact on students' levels of thinking through writing. Blogging habits and topics were examined to determine impact of blogging on student interest in reading and writing and quality of student writing in response to literature. Findings indicate that students developed voice, expanded depth of thinking about literature, and attended to the trait of ideas through blog writing; blogging provided a medium for expression of students' interests; blogging presented an outlet and audience for student writing of short stories and poetry; blogging altered teacher pedagogy to accept a wider definition of text and student analysis of text such as movies and music; and blogging reinforced the need for direct, explicit instruction of reading and writing strategies in the language arts classroom.