ERIC Number: ED243146
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Scribal Fluency and Syntactic Fluency.
McAndrew, Donald A.
To determine the relationship between handwriting speed and syntactic complexity, a study examined the syntactic features of 60 students enrolled in either a basic writing course or a traditional college composition course. Fast and slow handwriting were identified from highest scores on any one of four writing "tests." The writing samples collected were in response to a persuasive task since it required the most complex syntax. To ensure the complete development of ideas and strategies, students were given three prewriting activities. The collected writing samples were then analyzed for 18 direct or derived syntactic variables. Results indicated that enrollment in composition class was a significant main effect for 11 syntactic variables. Basic writers produced fewer words, fewer T-units, and fewer clauses than traditional college writers. However, the length of the T-units and clauses was not significantly different. Traditional college writers produced twice as many left-branching structures and these were twice as long as those of basic writers. They also produced almost three times as many right-branching structures. The multivariate analysis of variance for handwriting speed indicated that it was not a significant main effect for any of the 18 syntactic variables. However, traditional college writers who were also fast handwriters produced more words, more T-units, and more clauses than any of the other subjects, whether they were also traditional college writers or fast handwriters. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Handwriting Speed; Syntactic Complexity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).