Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Faculty Mentor

Ginger Collins


The purpose of the study was to create a database of written language samples with the intent of describing the nature of students’ written persuasive discourse and providing local normative data for typically developing seventh-graders. Language sample analysis is considered a best practice in clinical analysis of young children’s language skills. Standardized assessment tools are used to determine the presence or absence of a language disorder, whereas language sample analyses are useful for determining how an individual communicates in an authentic setting. Language sample analysis is under-utilized when assessing older students, since few language norms for this age group have been established. This study will contribute to the gap in the literature regarding adolescent language norms. Written language samples will be collected from seventh-grade students in the Missoula area. All students will be prompted to write a persuasive essay on a common topic, and written samples will be analyzed for syntactic complexity, vocabulary complexity, and coherence. Results will be analyzed for common themes along demographic data (gender, age, ethnicity, SES, etc.). When assessing written discourse samples of adolescents with language disorders, this repository of language samples may be useful for comparison.

Honors College Research Project




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