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ERIC Number: ED387805
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Freedom as Constraint in the Writing Process.
Hunzer, Kathleen M.
The problems of writer's block and writing apprehension have just started to be examined in conjunction with modern rhetorical theories and practices. One of the variables that can make students more vulnerable to writer's block and writing apprehension is the degree of freedom the student is granted in the writing assignments. Two such freedoms would be: (1) the amount of latitude a students is given in choosing his or her writing topic; and (2) the degree of latitude a student is given in envisioning and fictionalizing his or her own audience. To examine the relationship between freedom and anxiety, a researcher interviewed four students enrolled in elementary composition at West Chester University; the researcher also met with the instructor of the class to determine what he or she taught during the semester and what was expected of the students. Overall, students reported that freedom affected their writing negatively; they said they indeed suffered from writing blocks and writing apprehension when the topic or audience was too broadly defined. All but one of those interviewed preferred guidelines for topic suggestions. Results suggest further that an ideal program is one that provides students with a high degree of guidance early in the semester and then, as it prepares students for the processes involved in making independent decisions about writing, gradually allows students more latitude. (Contains 24 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A