This study examined the impact of feedback on student motivation to write in eighth grade English courses, specifically during a persuasive essay unit. A literature review was conducted to determine the characteristics of effective feedback and when it should be delivered to students. The findings from the literature review were used to develop the experimental context for the study to find out how feedback can impact motivation. A mixed-method approach was used to gather both quantitative and qualitative data through the use of a survey administered after varying types and levels of feedback were provided to participating students. The study took place during the second semester of a traditional school year in four English 8 classrooms at a middle school located in a small, rural mid-western farm community. Participants (n = 52) were selected using convenience sampling, though all students within the courses (n = 92) took part in the same unit, the same instructional methods, and the same feedback methods. Overall, results indicated that students were most motivated when they received detailed feedback that provided them with the next steps to take in the revision process. Intrinsic motivation proved to be more impacted by detailed corrective feedback than did extrinsic motivation, but both intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation were strongly supported by students' qualitative responses. Positive feedback was also shown to impact intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, but its impact was smaller than that of corrective feedback.


Kathleen Foord

Committee Member

Amy Scheuermann

Committee Member

Carrie Chapman

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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