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UNC Writing Skills Development Program

Writing Skills Development Program (WSDP) is comprised of a group of researchers led by Dr. Stephen R. Hooper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.  The research projects are funded through the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. By examining the efficacy of interventions, and the conditions under which they are most effective, we address a compelling educational need.

Writing Projects


In the News


Lara-Jeane Costa

3 years ago

Costa Receives $1.4 Million Grant for Early Literacy Research from Institute of Education Sciences

The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has awarded Lara Costa, the project director for the Writing Skills Development Program, $1.4 million over three years for an initiative spearheaded by the UNC School of Medicine Department of Allied Health Sciences. Stephen Hooper is the co-principal investigator for this new project and principal investigator of the Preschool …


What are we all about?

The WSDP concentrate on the relations among the development of writing skills and cognitive processes for students from preschool to seventh grade, as well as writing programs to advance skills for children who struggle. We have several overlapping goals:

  • Provide evidence for the efficacy of evidence-based writing interventions
  • Provide evidence of whether select cognitive abilities mediate the effects of the interventions
  • Provide accessibility of professional development for teachers to gain access to effective writing curriculum
  • Develop an empirical framework for writing to provide a strong foundation for creating age-specific measures and effective tools for monitoring progress