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ERIC Number: ED261395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Limitations on the Use of Computers in Composition.
Dobrin, David N.
Noting that composition teachers would like computers in order to facilitate the mechanics of writing, analyze text, and correct problems, this paper argues that classroom computer applications are limited because computers cannot analyze text the way a reader would. The paper first posits that readers look at text in terms of semantics and content while computers look at text in terms of syntax and form. It then illustrates this point by comparing spelling check programs with text analysis programs. It describes the three analysis programs--DICTION and STYLE, by Bell Labs, and the more powerful EPISTLE by IBM--and how they function, and provides output from the first two programs using the document to illustrate that the analysis is more or less useless to the writer. The paper then discusses the possibilities that text analyzers can be made better, observing that the writer must be skilled in sorting through inaccurate output in order for the output to be of any use, and that those without such skills may be damaged as much as helped by such programs. The paper concludes with the observation that programs can be made more accurate, but that a more worthy goal would be better on-line editors, better systems for communication, and better word processors. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A