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The Essential RMA:
A Window into Readers' Thinking

By Yetta Goodman, Prisca Martens,
Alan Flurkey

2014  Paperback  80 pages 
ISBN  978-1-57274-900-9 
Item # 555
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Table of Contents   Preface 
Author Bios   Endorsements

Watch Yetta's Speech on video

Retrospective Miscue Analysis Website

"Assessment is an important part of my reading and language arts methods course for elementary ed majors, and I use The Essential RMA as a central text that introduces my undergraduates to Miscue Analysis and Retrospective Miscue Analysis. When my students read Goodman, Martens, and Flurkey’s Essential RMA book, they are immediately able to begin analyzing miscues and talk with children about their reading processes. This book is essential for developing a “miscue ear” and a strength perspective that emphasizes what children know rather than what they don’t know."

            Renita Schmidt, Ph.D., Associate Professor Teaching and Learning
            COLLEGE OF EDUCATION University of Iowa

"Call this book the 'pocket guide' to RMA.  What a great resource.  It is uncomplicated, instructional, and very accessible!  I hadn't thought about collaborative RMA or whole class RMA before.  This has a lot of merit in a grade 9 classroom where curriculum demands make it difficult to focus on one student at a time."

Sarah Shimmin, Grade 9 English and History Teacher
Brooks High School Launceston, Tasmania

Retrospective Miscue Analysis (RMA) was first a research tool.  Now it is a teaching tool.  Using RMA, readers of all ages learn to become proficient readers of text. RMA helps them participate in conversations about the reading process and helps them develop skills as readers and writers.

Information collected through miscue analysis leads to meaningful discussions between teacher and student and among students, with or without the teacher.  As stated in the Preface, "RMA has the power to bring back joy in teaching and engagement in learning.  Enough to revive good teaching; enough to nourish a learner." 

VIEW VIDEO: Dr. Yetta Goodman Delivers Oscar S. Causey Address: "Miscue Analysis: A Transformative Tool for Researchers, Teachers, and Readers". Literacy Research Association (LRA) 64th Annual Conference, December 4, 2014, Marco Island, Florida, USA

Video of Yetta Goodman provided by:  
Peggy Albers
Professor of Language and Literacy
Georgia State University
Atlanta, Georgia.

Retrospective Miscue Analysis Website
We encourage you to visit the Essential RMA website ( a resource that provides more in-depth knowledge about miscue analysis and RMA, when you are ready to dig deeper. There are links to forms that make RMA easier, lists of questions and comments that deepen conversations, and references to books and articles that are addressed specifically for different age groups and groupings of readers. There are links to recordings of readers, showing how miscues are marked, the kinds of materials we suggest for readings, and how to select materials for readings. Within the pages of the book you will see an occasional icon that identifies some of the content that is included at the website.

Yetta M. Goodman,
Regents Professor Emerita, University of Arizona, supports teachers as professional observers of learners (kidwatchers) and innovative curriculum developers in collaboration with their students. She publishes about miscue analysis and the constructivist nature of literacy learning and teaching and holds leadership positions in literacy organizations.  Contact Yetta at


Prisca Martens
is a Professor in the Department of Elementary Education at Towson University, Towson, Maryland, where she teaches courses on reading/literacy and children’s literature. Her research and publications are in the areas of early literacy, miscue analysis, retrospective miscue analysis, and children’s literature. She can be reached at


Alan D. Flurkey
is Associate Professor of Literacy Studies in the School of Education at Hofstra University. He has taught elementary grades and special education classes and he has directed the Reading/Writing Learning Clinic. His research interests include RMA, eye-movement miscue analysis, studies of reading proficiency, and applications of corpus linguistics. Alan’s email address is

Read article on
Dr. Alan Flurkey Investigates Strategy to Help Struggling Readers



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