Exploring Habits of the Mind for Successful and Unsuccessful Writing Learners: A Case Study

A Case Study

  • Wondifraw Mihret Department of English Language and Literature, Debre Markos University, Ethiopia
  • Simeneh Wassie Department of English Language and Literature, Debre Markos University, Ethiopia
Keywords: habits of the mind, learners’ success, learning to write, writing


This study explored habits of the mind for eight successful and unsuccessful writing learners who were taking intermediate writing skills. Researchers’ phenomenological reflection was employed to supplement the exploratory case study design. Three writing tasks and in-depth interview were mainly used to collect data which were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings depicted that successful and unsuccessful writing learners have similarities and differences in habits of their mind. In thinking and practice related habits of the mind, four unsuccessful and two successful learners failed to properly implement in the process of composing. However, successful learners are more curious and open to explore opportunities in dispositional orientations. It was hence inferred that habits of the mind attribute to success in learning writing. Performance differences between these groups and within each group of students imply that habits of the mind are indicators of writing success in settings where learners’ writing has undergone serious failure.


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