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Recent findings reveal clear evidence that students’ low performance on writing tasks is often related to problems with motivation. Writing curriculum and interventions produce varying effects on adolescents’ writing outcomes, and such variations may be mediated by motivation. However, without a valid tool for measuring students’ motivation towards writing, these effects cannot be quantified. In this study we present the results of our multi-study validation program for the Self-Beliefs, Writing-Beliefs, and Attitude Survey (SWAS). This measure is designed for monitoring students' motivation towards writing, as well as identifying variables that mediate student achievement. We first addressed substantive validation through a thorough review of research. Next, in Study 1, we established structural validity through multiple types of factor analyses and establishing reliability coefficients for the instrument scores. Finally, in Study 2, we provide evidence of external validity by comparing students’ SWAS scores to other measures of writing. Following these procedures, we were able to establish that the SWAS provides a valid measure of students’ writing motivation and is an instrument appropriate for a particularly important age group – adolescent learners. Additionally, through this process, we add to the theoretical base by proposing a new multi-dimensional model of writing motivation.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. © 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 license. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Assessing Writing, doi: 10.1016/j.asw.2018.12.004