ERIC Number: ED298943
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Research into Word Processing and the Basic Writer.
Hawisher, Gail E.; Fortune, Ron
This paper considers the effect of computer use (word processing) on the compositions written by minority college freshmen in basic writing courses, focusing in particular on differences in composition quality and the kinds of thinking evidenced in the essay, as well as determining whether any differences were gender related. Subjects were 40 Black and Hispanic college basic writers enrolled in first-year special instruction composition classes at two large midwestern universities, one of which requires that all writing courses be taught in a word processing environment. Students were selected for special instruction because their high school performances suggested a strong potential for success in college despite low standardized test scores. Evaluation of the compositions showed that although both groups improved slightly from pretest to posttest, the quality of writing of neither group improved significantly more than the other, nor were any significant differences found based on gender. Evaluation of thinking skills also showed no significant differences based on use or nonuse of word processing in composition, nor any differences based upon gender. These findings are similar to those found in earlier studies of similar low achieving students. Thus, although it is suggested that the medium used in writing might well make a difference in the writing of some groups of writers, this investigation failed to show such a difference for these first year basic college writers. Three tables and one figure are included. (15 references) (EW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).