ERIC Number: ED174999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Research on Prose Comprehension: Applications for Composition Teachers.
Meyer, Bonnie J. F.
Research shows that effectively used writing plans (models of text organization) promote understanding of messages and that students can learn to use these plans. Writing plans include overall plans (antecedent/consequent, comparison, description, and response), emphasis plans that highlight certain subtopics, and cohesion plans that refer to the rate at which new information is introduced and how to keep track of old information. Students learn these writing plans by examining magazine articles, advertisements, and other student compositions for their overall organization, subordination structure, signaling, and repetition of concepts. An occasional structural analysis of a writer's typical work also helps to evaluate that writer's overall writing plan and use of rhetorical relationships like emphasis and repetition. Since prose comprehension results from an interaction between the text and the reader's knowledge structures (schemata), distortions and confusions can occur when writers present readers with distorted or unfamiliar writing plans. On the other hand, writers can facilitate understanding of their work by matching appropriate writing plans to particular audiences. For example, with less proficient readers on an unfamiliar topic, several modifications in writing plans might be made, including explicit signaling of both the overall writing plan and the author's perspective, and using many identically worded, overlapping concepts. (RL)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (30th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 5-7, 1979)