Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2015

Document Type

Education 530 Project

Degree Name

Master of Education



First Advisor

Causarano, Antonio

Major or Concentration



Despite the importance of reading to any curriculum -- particularly the curriculum of the English/Language Arts classroom, there is a startling trend of students reading less the older they get (Cuevas, Russell, & Irving, 2012; Daniel & Steres, 2011; Ivey & Johnston, 2013). Researchers are concerned with the declining rates of student reading for pleasure, and trace the problem to two different trouble spots: Lack of motivation to read and lack of student comprehension of texts. Research on student motivation determine that students are more likely to be motivated by choice and efficacy in the classroom (Brooks & Young, 2012; Guthrie, Klauda, & Ho, 2013), while research on reading comprehension favors either individualized methods for improving reading comprehension (Cuevas, Russell, & Irving, 2012; Yeh, McTigue, & Joshi, 2012) or expanding the base materials of reading (Schiefele et. al, 2012). Some scholars, however, suggest that adding young adult literature to the curriculum would engage students and improve reading comprehension, due to a startling amount of text complexity using a triangulating theory to determine complexity (Glaus, 2014; Ostenson & Wadham, 2012). This study used young adult literature as supplemental text in an English classroom to determine if students would learn more through the incorporating of a text with a higher degree of reliability to them than the current canonical literature. While the test group using young adult literature in the classroom scored lower grades on assignments than the control group, data indicates that, over the course of the study, students gained more positive opinions on young adult literature and the possibility of having it incorporated in a text.

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