ERIC Number: ED362895
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-24
Reference Count: N/A
Research: Recording Process and Product.
Pelham, Fran O'Byrne
Although the freshman research paper is the most institutionalized single writing assignment in the academy, the body of knowledge about it is neither extensive nor reflective. This paper explores the complex processes involved in a freshman writing student's inquiry and composing processes as he/she enacts a research assignment. It asks how a student initiates an inquiry task and selects, gathers, organizes, and makes meaning as he/she composes from source materials. It also asks whether the use of a Research Journal would influence the writing of the paper. The study takes a comprehensive look at the ways a freshman interprets and negotiates the research assignment while trying to integrate information from sources with ideas of his/her own independent of the syllabus in which the assignment was originally structured. The thinking processes of one particular student are examined from a number of perspectives, drawing on think-aloud protocols, interviews, and the student's self-analysis. It was found that significant relationships between the processes exist; features such as goals and planning are important variables in the relationship between inquiry and composing. Evidence of a high level of personal involvement, imagination, cognitive awareness, and conscious choice of strategies emerged from the data taken from the Research Journal written by the student. The writing process in this study is viewed as problem-solving in which ideas are drafted, explored, reviewed, revised, edited, and polished for different ends. The underlying assumption is that writing is a process that can help students discover and make meaning, and it is suggested that teachers might contemplate the ways in which inquiry and composing, in combination, can forge new theoretical and pedagogical directions for a genre of writing that is taught in 84% of the nation's colleges and universities. (NH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Theory; Writing Thinking Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Conference (Villanova, PA, April 24, 1993).