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ERIC Number: ED258204
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Writing as a Linguistic Problem.
McCutchen, Deborah
The current focus on high level planning and abstract goals runs the risk of misrepresenting the contributions that cognitive psychology could make to the study of writing if it neglects important linguistic features that distinguish the writing of natural language from other problem solving tasks. An alternative perspective on writing emphasizes psycholinguistic processes involved in generating sentences and linking them into coherent text. The problem solving models of writing, developed out of work in cognitive science, are hierarchical in nature. While some hierarchical planning is done in writing (such as working from an outline), writers commonly begin with something and follow it to a preplanned next idea, or to a newly discovered thought or to a dead end. Words already written can drastically affect what follows them. Then, the interaction between the text-level processes and the planning-level processes can be seen. Understanding the linguistic text features, such as the "top down" approach to reading (an emphasis on the reader's knowledge and its schematic organization) and the "bottom up" approach (an emphasis on lower level linguistic processes) is important to the writer's effectiveness in communicating ideas to the reader and in solving writing problems. (EL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.
Note: Reprint from "Educational Psychology," Volume 19, Number 4, p226-238, 1984.