Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Erinn Bentley

Second Advisor

Jennifer L. Brown

Third Advisor

Jan G. Burcham


Teachers across content areas have a shared responsibility to incorporate writing instruction into the curriculum; however, analysis of needs assessment survey data collected during Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant application in 2014 revealed that the faculty of the participating high school did not embrace writing instruction responsibility. The purpose of the study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions, confidence, and use of writing instructional strategies throughout content areas at the conclusion of implementation of the five-year grant. The researcher conducted an explanatory sequential mixed methods design that utilized a survey, interviews, and lesson plan document analysis. The survey sample consisted of 31 faculty members of the participating high school and 8 interview participants selected from survey respondents. The researcher performed a series of descriptive and frequency analyses followed by cross-tabular analyses. Findings suggested that teachers perceived a shared role in writing instruction; however, the researcher discovered a lack of understanding existed as to the definition of content area writing instruction. The researcher further found a perceived stigma in English language arts ownership of writing; therefore, content area teachers perceived a minimal role in writing instruction in content areas. Teachers also reported that writing ability was a requirement to teach writing; however, many teachers did not feel confident in this regard. Furthermore, despite a lack of understanding of what constituted content area writing, each interview participant cited examples of content area writing strategies and tasks implemented during content area instruction geared toward helping students better understand the content material. This research study could benefit development of professional learning opportunities for teachers in the area of content writing instruction.