ERIC Number: ED202012
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Defining Stages in the Process of Responding to and Writing about Literature.
Flynn, Elizabeth A.
Analysis of 24 sets of journal entries, drafts, and revisions of papers written by college students in literature/composition courses suggested three stages in the process of reading and writing about literature. In the progressive stage, which is based on theories of transactional literary analysis, brief writing exercises, such as journal writing, helped the student reader structure and clarify the literary event before, during, and immediately after reading the work. The transitional phase produced longer practice writings by which the student/readers sought to balance their experiences of the literary event with the perspectives of other readers. In the symbolic phase, students produced completed drafts that explained the position of the literary work in relation to human behavior, literature, or culture. Although the students' writings in the study did not always fall into such neat divisions, these three phases were fairly accurate descriptions of the stages that students were expected to go through in preparing their papers. Based on this research, it appears that student writing will improve in literature/composition courses only if students learn to "decenter" their thoughts, moving from the subjective and narrational modes of thought in their private readings to more objective, analytical modes of thought in their final compositions. (RL)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Journal Writing; Transactional Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981). Occasional marginal legibility.