Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to develop a description of the cognitive strategies reported by proficient readers and writers as they completed a variety of reading and writing tasks. Seven above-average, twelfth-grade students were selected as subjects from teacher recommendations and standardized test scores. Each subject was involved in five data collection sessions: (a) a writing assessment/think aloud practice session, (b) writing a reflexive task, (c) writing an extensive task, (d) reading a concrete text, and (e) reading an abstract text. All sessions were held with subjects individually. The data collection techniques included: (a) recording the thoughts subjects reported as they completed the tasks, (b) cued retrospective reports, and (c) researcher observation notes. From this data eight categories of strategies were identified: (a) monitoring, (b) phrasing content, (c) using content prior knowledge, (d) using text form knowledge, (e) rereading, (f) questioning, (g) inferencing, and (h) making connections to author/audience. Frequency counts of the occurrences indicated that the subjects used the strategies of monitoring, rereading, and phrasing content most frequently during their meaning making. The use of these strategies differed by tasks more for reading than for writing. Strategy use for the reading differed most for phrasing content, monitoring, rereading, using content knowledge, and inferencing. Strategy use for writing differed less with noticeable differences occurring for using text form knowledge and questioning.