Choice in the written world: how does writing choice motivate a young writer?

In this study, progress was made in determining the effects of motivation and writing choice for a student in the elementary school setting. A fourth grade student was selected based on his writing abilities, writing behaviors, and overall assessments in reading and writing. The case study examined the effects of writing choice during Writing Workshop, a progressive model in education today. A total of eight quick-writes were administered with four choice topics and four non-choice topics. After the initial eight writing assignments the subject then chose one of the quick-writes to publish. The subject's quick-write selection revealed a great deal about his motivational tendencies and willingness to see one of his choice topic writing assignments through to publishing. Upon completion of the published quickwrite, the subject's work was then assessed based on the district recommended rubric. The effects of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation were studied and how they motivated this, fourth-grade student. Finding the balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation creates an environment where students feel safe to take risks and explore the curriculum in ways that best reflect themselves. Topic choice may play a factor in the motivational tendencies among young writers. KEY WORDS: writing, writing workshop, motivation, topic choice