Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Moriah McCracken

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Noe

Third Advisor

Dr. Colin Charlton


Research on the narrative writing of males and females shows significant differences between the two, and scores for standardized writing tests consistently demonstrate females outperforming males. Based on this information, it is important to investigate whether there are links between narrative content and this gender gap. In this study, I selected fifty officially scored essays written in response to an eleventh grade English Language Arts Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam. Essays were coded for broad and specific narrative types according to categories adapted from research on the writing of males and females. I then determined whether certain narrative types were preferred by readers who scored for this state exam. While I did find significant differences in content based on gender, I did not find a clear privileging of narrative types. Therefore, this study may inspire more research into causes for a gender gap on standardized writing tests.


Copyright 2012 Rachel Villarreal Garza. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American