ERIC Number: ED257105
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Heuristic for Analyzing a Particular Type of Writing Prior to Learning How to Produce It.
Coe, Richard M.
An assignment given to students at the end of an advanced composition class empowers students by helping them grasp principles and develop abilities that allow them to get beyond needing teachers. The crux of the assignment is a heuristic for analyzing any particular type of writing for the purpose of learning to produce it. The students are assigned to choose a specific type of writing and then to create a mini-manual for people who might want to do that type of writing. This must be an empirical assignment based on the students' analyses of samples of the discourse. The result of this assignment is a formal causal explanation by analysis of a hierarchy of constraints. The heuristic is supposed to help generate a description of the constraints within which writers work. The assignment is based on the assumption that the nature of the constraints and their priority varies from one discourse set to another, and because the immediate focus is on the written products students analyze, the success of the assignment depends upon the students' prior understanding of writing as process as well as their understanding of the practical relationship between process and product. (An example of the heuristic given to the class and samples of students' work are included.) (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).