Selection of main points in instructional texts: Influences of task demands

Gonny L.M. Schellings, Bernadette H.A.M. Van Hout-Wolters, Jan D. Vermunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the degree to which 3 types of tasks affect the selection of main points in instructional texts. 133 10th graders participated. Each participant studied 3 instructional texts, and each text was preceded by 1 task. In the linguistic task, students had to underline text elements considered important by the author of the text. In the educational task, students had to underline text elements considered important by a portrayed teacher. And in the interest task, text fragments considered interesting by the student were to be underlined. On average, the type of task did affect the number and kind of selected text fragments, but the variation between the students was large. In the educational task, students selected the text fragments that corresponded to the task, but many of the author's main points were also selected. In the interest task, all kinds of text fragments were selected instead of only the fragments used to arouse interest. In all, the study provides more insight into 3 ways of identifying main points. These insights should be integrated into instructional programs on selecting main points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-378
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Literacy Research
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

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