ERIC Number: ED200994
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
The Composing Process of Technical Writers. A Preliminary Study.
Mair, David; Roundy, Nancy
Research was conducted to test the assumption that technical writers compose as other writers do. Information was gathered through questionnaires and interviews surveying 70 writers--technical writing students, students working part-time in industry, university professors, and engineers and researchers working full-time in industry. The results were interpreted as follows: (1) The technical writer does have a composing process of several stages, similar to that of other writers. The subjects all indicated that they spent time prewriting, writing, and revising, with times in each stage dependent on the projected length and the form of the document being written. (2) The composing process of technical writers is reflexive and nonlinear, just like that of other writers. (3) The most experienced technical writers had a range of strategies which they used at each stage in the composing process to help them master writing. (4) Technical composition differs from composing in other fields in that the composing process is more deliberate and strategies more clearly defined: audience, purpose, and form guide planning, writing, and revising. The situational nature of technical writing also influences composition. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981).