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ERIC Number: EJ1120667
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
Writing toward the End: Students' Perceptions of Doneness in the Composition Classroom
McAlear, Rob; Pedretti, Mark
Composition Studies, v44 n2 p72-93 Fall 2016
Process-based composition pedagogy has ignored the question of "doneness": the criteria used to decide when a piece of writing is complete. This article uses survey results from first- and second-year composition courses to challenge common beliefs about how students determine when writing assignments are sufficiently completed. We find that novice writers often relied on personal affective judgments, while advanced but still developing writers turned more to external markers. Students largely neglected process-oriented revision tasks, and relied too heavily on lower-order strategies like proofreading. Students in both groups tended to rely on a single strategy for determining doneness, rather than incorporating personal, institutional, and process-based strategies in combination. Little awareness of the rhetorical exigencies of different writing situations was demonstrated. We emphasize the need for reiterating fundamental writing tasks in secondary or advanced writing courses, and we suggest strategies for incorporating a consideration of doneness into the composition classroom.
University of Cincinnati. Department of English, P.O. Box 210069, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Tel: 513-556-6519; Fax: 513-556-5960; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A