Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

Education 530 Project

Degree Name

Master of Education



Department Chair or Program Director

Davis, Janine

First Advisor

Davis, Janine

Major or Concentration



Research has shown that the increased use of social media and texting has started to take a toll on the way students are writing. This trend of using “text-speak” in formal writing was taking place in my classroom, too. While looking for ways to help students improve their writing, I came across research that used rubrics as an instructional tool. I decided to try using rubrics during instruction to improve the writing skills of my students. Instead of studying the students, however, I decided to study myself. Autoethnography is a form of qualitative research that relies on the author reflecting on their practices and writing about their experiences. In this study, I reflected on how I planned and taught writing. The reflections that came from my research journal were used as the main data source for this study. The data from my research journal fell into four major themes: scaffolding information, adapting to situations, writing for fun versus writing for work, and using structured writing assignments. Based on these themes, I found that not only did I prefer to teach with writing assignments that have more structure, but my students also preferred them to have structure. Not only does it make completing the assignment easier for the students, but it makes it easier to grade and get feedback to students in a timely manner.