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ERIC Number: ED374419
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A More Favorable Context: What Former Basic Writers Report about Writing on the Job.
Agnew, Eleanor
A study examined the writing practices, attitudes, and beliefs about the importance of writing at work of "basic" writers and "strong" writers. Subjects were graduates of Francis Marion College for the years 1984 to 1989. Questionnaires were returned by 119 of the 182 basic writers (identified through placement in remedial English, repetition of required English courses, and lower-than-C averages in required English courses) and by 47 of the 62 strong writers, who earned only A's in required English courses. Results indicated that: (1) most respondents in both groups had sought majors and jobs for reasons unrelated to writing ability; (2) most frequently done types of writing were short and repetitive; and (3) most of the former basic writers believed they were writing adequately for their jobs and felt satisfied with their ability. Examination of writing samples indicated that the former basic writers' purposes for writing are inseparable from the subject matter, audience, writer's persona, and the resulting text. Findings suggest that: (1) writing teachers need to reduce as much as possible the artificiality of the writing class and provide student writers with real audiences and real purposes for writing; and (2) that freshman English courses should not be used as screening devices which cull weaker writers from college during the first year. Writing teachers need to remember that they see only one cross-section of their students' overall abilities. (Two tables and three charts of data, a figure illustrating J. Kinneavey's model of academic communication, a model of workplace communication, and three samples of workplace writing are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A