Date of Award
Bachelor of Education Honours
Faculty of Education
Dr Peter Sloan
The purpose of this study was to investigate various text-based ways of assisting Year Seven readers to enhance their recall of informational texts. The theory that was tested in this investigation is that text-based reading aids which secure the activation and rehearsal of relevant form and/or content schemata for written texts will enhance the recall of the content and structure of those texts. To investigate the comparative impact of the text conditions, 105 Year Seven students from a large primary school in a northern suburb of the Perth Metropolitan Area were ranked on the basis of their reading comprehension scores. They were systematically assigned to each of the five groups to create five approximately heterogeneous groups thus creating a stratified sample. Two separate experiments were conducted. The dependent variable for the first was the recall of content, while for the second, it was the ability to show a knowledge of the text’s structure. It was concluded that, for this sample of Year Seven students, the quantity of content recalled was enhanced to about the same significant degree by the use of in-text headings or the use of a pre-text outline when compared with the "no text-based aids" condition. Further, it was concluded that the use of in-text headings and a pre-text outline enhanced the recall of text content about as well as the use of in-text headings, a pre-text outline and a post-text summary. Both produced significantly enhanced recall when compared with the "no text-based aids" condition the "in-text headings" condition and the "pre-text outline" condition. As a result of experiment two, it was concluded that the recall of text structure was not enhanced by the use of in-text headings. It was further concluded that the use of a pre-text outline, the use of a pre-text outline with in-text headings, and the use of a pre-text outline with in-text headings and a post-text summary produced equal scores on the recall of text structure. All three of these conditions produced significantly enhanced recall of text structure when compared with the "no text-based aids" condition and the "in-text headings" condition. Since the pre-text outline was the variable common to all of these conditions, it was concluded that the use of a pre-text outline had a significant, beneficial effect upon the recall of text structure. It is clear from the findings of this study that the recall of the content and structure of informational texts by Year Seven students, like those in the sample used in this study could be significantly enhanced if texts were produced with carefully formulated pre-text outlines and in-text headings.
Latham, J. S. (1991). The effect of outlines, headings and summaries on the recall of informational text. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/247