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Researchers at Central Michigan University, led by Dr. Janet Sturm, analyzed the effectiveness of First Author Writing Software on 44 students with developmental disabilities in five sites. Elementary, middle, and high school classrooms were included in the study.

Students in these classrooms ranged from having mild cognitive impairments to  moderate intellectual impairments. Before intervention, baseline writing samples were obtained from each student in the study. Students of similar baseline abilities were randomly assigned to either a paper and pencil group or a First Author group.


These outcomes are impressive—especially considering many of these students were initially considered non-writers!

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The writing level for students in the First Author group increased by 39% measured on the Developmental Writing Scale. The average student gained 2 ½ levels on the 14-point scale. Change in Developmental Writing Scale level was not evident in the control group.

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Average total unique words per writing doubled during the intervention period for the First Author group, whereas the total number of words written in the control group only increased by 23% during the intervention period.

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With the First Author group, average total words per writing jumped 295% during the intervention period, whereas the total number of words written in the control group only increased by 39%.

Student Stories

Watch the First-Time Author Stories and get to know some of the students who use First Author Writing Software to truly express themselves.

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Writing Samples

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