ERIC Number: ED335675
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
From the Classroom to the Dorm: Facing the Impasse of Demanding Discourse Constraints.
The composing processes of four freshmen writers of varying proficiency who had been taught problem-solving strategies for one semester were traced to see whether they would differ in how they set up and followed through with strategic options. Each of the four students produced a think-aloud protocol as he or she planned and wrote an assignment related to the word "paradigm" and its use in discourse communities. Excerpts of students' protocols showed how students elaborated the problem--or impasse--and the specificity with which they elaborated their options. Results indicated that the two "good" writers isolated many more points of conflict than the other two writers, one by calling upon class instruction and the other by making use of strategies apparently brought with her from high school. The two "less proficient" writers isolated far fewer problems and were unable to render the strategies they needed to negotiate the points of conflict they did isolate. Findings suggest that teachers should focus on student writers as they face the point of impasse and provide carefully developed instruction to help students: (1) assess whether their tried-and-true approaches are falling short; (2) help students envision their own strategic options; and (3) make strategic decisions, including those that require taking risks. (Four tables of data are included and 15 references are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; 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 (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).