ERIC Number: ED185598
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Connections, Coherence, and Cognition in Composition.
Goldstein, Elizabeth; Perfetti, Charles
In a study conducted to show the importance of sentence connections as a way of looking at a writer's cognitive processes, three devices used to achieve coherence in written discourse were compared and proved to be unequally effective. The devices were cohesion (use of a textual reference in a sentence that has an antecedent in a preceding sentence), major argument overlap (use of a reference that is a relational concept to a proposition in a preceding sentence), and the given/new obligation that requires that each sentence convey two kinds of information-given information and new information. Given information is information writers believe readers already know either from prior knowledge or from preceding sentences. New information is information writers believe readers do not yet know or are not thinking about until writers call attention to it. This given/new obligation demands that the writer arrange material so that readers' expectations are fulfilled. Since subjects in the study did not remember sentences that had only major argument overlap and textual cohesion, it was concluded that in the absence of shared prior knowledge, the fulfillment of the given/new obligation is necessary for coherence. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Text Coherence
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (31st, Washington, DC, March 13-15, 1980). Best copy available.