ERIC Number: ED341989
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-22
Reference Count: N/A
Prose Modeling: Panacea or Poppycock?
Stolarek, Elizabeth A.
Three studies examined the effectiveness of teaching an unfamiliar prose form using prose modeling (duplicating defining characteristics of a model text using different content). First, English department instructors at four universities were surveyed and of the 70 who responded, 76% stated that they did use modeling in their classrooms. In the second study, 143 freshmen and 21 English department faculty members at Loyola University in Chicago were given one of five study packets which included combinations of a description, a prose model, and an explication of an unfamiliar prose form which the researcher called "modified chosisme" with directions to write in this form after reading the packets. Results indicated that: (1) within each treatment group, faculty wrote more formally modified chosismes than did students; but (2) students who received all three items in the packet wrote modified chosismes with higher average scores than faculty who received only the prose model or the model plus explication. In the third study, the hands of 15 students and 15 faculty members were videotaped as the individuals wrote their modified chosisme essays. Subjects then recalled their thoughts while viewing the videotape. Results indicated that those who achieved the highest scores were those who exhibited the most conscious concern about the task and how they were accomplishing it. Based on the results of the studies, a sample of George Orwell's writing and the prose models approach were used to introduce students to other sentence variations. (The survey instrument, an example of the modified chosisme form, the prose model, the explication, one table of data, the Orwell writing sample, and a student-written imitation of the Orwell sample are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Loyola University of Chicago IL; Prose Modeling
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).