Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching




Teaching Initial K-6 Licensure

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinde Fakuajo

Second Reader

Professor Kristin Blevins


autonomous motivation, high-order writing skills, self-efficacy, writing process


Students need to be able to write to be successful in school, personal life, and professional settings. In upper elementary, fourth- through fifth-grades, students shift from basic to high-order writing skills. The increased cognitive load can overwhelm students and even lead to task avoidance. Self-efficacy and autonomous motivation assist students in engaging and sustaining complex tasks. This literature evaluated fifteen primary research studies on how teachers may foster these constructs to aid in students’ development of high-order writing skills. Three strands were revealed. The first strand explored the state of writing instruction - the influence of standards-based educational systems and teacher preparation - according to the researchers. The second strand described the sociodemographic makeup of student groups found in the research, predominantly gender, achievement level, and grade. The third strand revealed best practices for fostering autonomous motivation and self-efficacy within the classroom: relationship building and classroom environment, explicit instruction and peer assistance, choice and creativity, and integration. However, the research had limitations. While most researchers recorded socioeconomic status, ELL status, and special needs, these categories were rarely mentioned as the other student sociodemographics for written instruction. Another limitation was the lack of practical advice on implementing best practices within a standards-based education system. These limitations provided opportunities for future research. In conclusion, this literature review encouraged teachers to foster autonomous motivation and self-efficacy to aid in the mastery of high-order writing skills.