ERIC Number: ED214171
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Measuring Density of Details in Composition and Content Courses.
Schwab, Gweneth B.
Some composition teachers believe that students may write more competently in subject matter courses than in writing courses. That is, the constraints of writing for a class or assignment in which the composition skills will be evaluated may prevent students from writing their best. With this in mind, a study was conducted to determine whether there is any difference in density and specificity of detail and example between compositions from a subject area class and those from a composition class. Two essays written by students in a freshman level religion course and two essays written by students in two freshman level composition courses were compared. Both classes were given the same assignment and the same period of time in which to write. Density and specificity of development were measured by a scoring procedure which added points for elements that produced detail and subtracted points for elements that avoided detail. While the first free writing exercise produced scores that were neither high nor significantly different between classes, the essays written out of class later in the semester revealed a significant difference. The religion course papers produced higher scores without instruction in writing. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing across the Curriculum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).