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Examining Writing Processes in Different Contexts

Autor:   •  March 14, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,279 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,304 Views

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Examining Writing Processes in Different Contexts

Researchers have been studying writing for many years, trying to get inside writers' heads and perceive their thoughts. Past studies such as Berkenkotter, Perl and Sommers have conducted their own experiments, but did not study writers in an uncontrolled environment. Perl's study did not teach readers, unskilled writers, how they could change or fix their writing processes. Berkenkotter's study focused on skilled writers, which makes it hard for students to relate. I found that Sommer's article was not relatable either. After reading their studies, I realized that being in a natural environment or being in a lab was inadequate. In a natural environment there are many distractions, such as TV, internet, phone or even just procrastinating by cleaning you room or doing the dishes. A lab setting, on the other hand, is very intimidating and almost hinders a writer's writing process. I believe that being an unskilled writer will help me to better understand why I have trouble writing as well as better understand why unskilled writers as a whole have trouble writing. I hope to provide a more adequate study of a writer's writing process by using the library as an uncontrolled environment, the think-aloud protocol and reflection immediately afterwards.


I started this experiment by keeping a writing log for two weeks. The four tasks I chose to keep note of were text messages, face book chats, notes and essays. After I finished the writing log, I went right into my experiment. When it was time to write my essay, I went to the library. I found out I could check out my own room, with no distractions. I sat down, opened up my computer and clicked on garage band to record myself doing the think aloud protocol. After I finished brainstorming all of my ideas I began to write. I decided to leave garage band on so I could see when I paused, whether it was a thinking pause or just a pause to take a break. After I finished the essay, I immediately went into reflection. I said everything I remembered during my writing process. I also watched the recorded video of myself. I noticed that after writing a sentence, I like to go back and read it to make sure what I wrote is grammatically correct.

Next, I observed myself taking notes during class. Since garage band was not available, I kept a separate sheet of paper next to me to jot down when I paused to think or went to edit a mistake. When I finished, I realized I hardly edit my notes. My notes are sloppy and are usually only able to be read by me. I tend to use short cuts and abbreviations to help make myself write faster. After observing myself doing tasks that were school-related, I decided to move onto more personal tasks. I first chose to observe myself texting. Immediately after sending a text message I would write down the process


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