ERIC Number: ED181453
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
What Empirical Research Reveals about Topics and Writing Processes.
Glassner, Benjamin M.
Although modern discourse theory asserts that purpose is most fundamental to writing, it is genuine intention that students' writing most often lacks. Assigned topics compel students to write when the occasion is not genuine and there is no real opportunity to communicate. Research indicates that the two principal modes of writing are extensive, focusing on the writer's conveying a message or communication to another, and reflexive, focusing on the writer's thoughts and feelings about an experience. The processes of extensive composing, mostly school-sponsored, are linear and direct, proceeding from prewriting to writing to revision in discrete lock-steps. The processes of reflexive composing, mostly self-sponsored, are more like those described by professional writers and involve moving back and forth through all stages of the writing process. While both strategies are part of a full writing process, the former has resulted in the artificial, truncated writing of many students. Other research shows that good writing takes time, but teachers have not recognized this in teaching writing and the results have been a distorted fixation on product instead of on process. Allowing students choice of topic and more time for the process results in stronger, more interesting, and more correct writing. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (69th, San Francisco, CA, November 22-24, 1979)