The Relationship between Mentor Texts and Student Motivation and Engagement in Writing
Motivation and engagement play a key role in the success of students. This, in turn, influences students’ perceptions about school and about themselves. This action research study examined how mentor texts could be used to motivate and engage students in writing. Mentor texts are any text that is used to guide students’ learning of a specific writing genre and/or a specific writing trait. Mentor texts were used in this study to aid students’ comprehension of the qualities and structure of opinion and narrative writing. Mentor texts were further used to build students’ understanding of writing with comparisons and adjectives. Results indicated that mentor texts can be used to improve student engagement during direct teacher instruction and the independent opinion writing process, but may or may not improve the independent narrative writing process.