The purpose and objectives of this qualitative teacher research (Hubbard, Power, 1993) is to explore my teaching by examining the purposeful writing of my students as I consider the following questions: (1) How does a teacher actualize a system of beliefs in a specific classroom context? (2) How do fourth grade children evolve as writers over the school year? (3) How is writing measured on district developed benchmark writing tests and the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test? (4) What are fourth grade children's perspectives on purposeful writing? I teach from a humanistic perspective (Rogers, 1980) and these principles lead me to emphasize purposeful writing, which I define as writing that has its roots in topics and feelings the writer cares about, and writing experiences that have a clear function and audience. I analyzed the students' writing using a 6-trait 4-point writing rubric. Authentic assessment at the state and district level was not provided for the children and writing ability was not measured authentically other than in the classroom. Major conclusions of this study include: (1) Purposeful writing increased children's enjoyment of writing; (2) Student oral presentations of prewriting are an effective method for the revision and editing of their written work; (3) Written language is a tool for self-expression. This tool should be applied in ways that encourage learners to develop and define themselves; (4) Students were most satisfied with the inquiry projects that encouraged them to answer their own questions; (5) In light of increased feedback, students were more willing to rework their papers multiple times to develop a clear message; (6) In response to a desired connection with peers, students chose to communicate more in writing; (7) Students worked at and valued the art of storytelling and presentation of material that mattered; (8) Students took more risks in their writing; and (9) Reflecting on student writing provided many opportunities to actualize my belief system as a teacher in the classroom.