ERIC Number: ED280060
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar-19
Reference Count: 0
Style and Usage Software: Mentor, not Judge.
Computer software style and usage checkers can encourage students' recursive revision strategies. For example, HOMER is based on the revision pedagogy presented in Richard Lanham's "Revising Prose," while Grammatik II focuses on readability, passive voice, and possibly misused words or phrases. Writer's Workbench "Style" (a UNIX program) provides information on sentence type, word usage, and percentages for sentence beginnings. However, most programs share the same weaknesses: a linear and judgmental composition philosophy and an inappropriate revision model. A combination of Writer's Workbench and Emacs (a Microsoft "word" type of environment that has allowed for creation of a word processor through flexible use of the VT220 keyboard) results in a technology that encourages style and usage revision at any stage of the student's composing process. For example, a student can view simultaneously the text being edited and a Writer's Workbench text analysis. This program can also be used as an instructional tool by writing a script with blank spaces for inserting variables taken from the program's statistical text analysis. The resulting feedback, specific to the assignment's rhetorical mode of an assignment and combined with the computer software technology, encourages both deep structure and surface feature revisions. (SRT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative; 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 (38th, Atlanta, GA, March 19-21, 1987).