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Comparing Middle School Students’ Responses to Narrative Versus Expository Texts on Situational and Individual Interest

Fri, April 4, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Convention Center, Floor: 200 Level, 204A


This project examined the effects of text genre on both situational and individual interest. Middle school students completed a three-session web-based learning module in the domain of ecology wherein they were randomly assigned to either narrative or expository readings that were matched on key idea units and other variables. Students reported individual interest in ecology on the day before and after their exposure to the module. Affective and cognitive situational interest was measured after the readings on each day of the module. The results showed that expository readings were perceived as more helpful for learning than were narrative readings, but this varied somewhat by initial individual interest. The narrative readings led to higher reports of perceived meaningfulness of the domain.