ERIC Number: ED455519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
Invent an Audience--Create a Context: How Writers Are Referring to Readers.
In teaching writing, the "audience" became and still is fundamental, leading to the question of how students can learn to adapt their text to the assumed readership and at the same time, learn to write for their addressees. A study focused on how writers cope with the writing process, asking several questions about the concept of audience and its relevance in the writing process. At Bielefeld University, 16 groups took part in a collaborative writing experiment. In group writing the writers themselves quickly change from writer to first reader, dependent on the formulation activity. The writers were inexperienced with their writing task, the audience was explicitly part of the writing task, and a computer game manual was chosen as the writing task, because it is a text type containing different communicative and technical requirements. In the seminar room, a laptop was installed with the computer game and with text editors and image editing/processing tools to use. In addition, pens and paper were provided, making it possible to write drafts or whole texts. Both the interactions and the production process were videotaped. One group, Anna and Timo, did not develop an idea about the context of their text, e.g., the usage of their manual while playing the computer game. So their addressee orientation remained abstract. Another group, Emma and Katja, used different writing and audience concerning strategies; they thought about concrete characteristics of their addressee, but they also decided on a specific type of reader they were writing for. As a result, a well organized writing process and a well written text can be found, a text pattern for computer games. "Addressee" seems to be a highly flexible concept. This leads to difficulties for teaching writing and imparting proceedings or strategies about the way writers should handle the "audience." (Contains 35 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A