ERIC Number: ED243150
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Trying Out of the Essay: How Scientific Essayists Compose.
Six scientific essayists were interviewed to gain some understanding of their writing processes. The writers were Roger Sawin, who writes for "Horticulture"; Harold Morowitz who writes for "Hospital Practices,""Science 82" and "Science 83"; Stephen Jay Gould who writes for "Natural History"; Jeremy Bernstein who writes for the "New Yorker" and "American Scholar"; Lewis Thomas who wrote for "The New England Journal of Medicine" and currently writes for "Discover"; and Freeman Dyson who has written for a variety of general interest magazines. In addition, each has written other works. The interviews revealed that, similar to college composition class students, most of them produced essays of 800-2,500 words and took two weeks to compose the essay. Although each of the essayists wrote differently, they all said the majority of the time was spent on deciding on the topic, researching the topic, and then loosely thinking about the subject. Writers pull ideas together by having a clear, concrete theme to which they can connect other ideas. Each of the writers also writes to a community of readers which, in turn, influences their writing throughout the process. Fundamentally, the interviews revealed that the essayists thought, researched, discussed, wrote and revised--and thought the experience to be fun. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Scientific Essays
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).