Directory Listings Now » Arts » Online Writing

Links Sort by: PageRank | Hits | Alphabetical

Researchers' first attempts to understand what is now called the writing process began in the early 1970s. Now a key concept in the teaching of writing and in the research of composition studies, "process" scholars were instrumental in shifting the focus of teachers' attention from students' written products to students' writing processes. Composing process research was pioneered by scholars such as Janet Emig in The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders (1971),[1] Sondra Perl in "The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers" (1979),[2] and Linda Flower and John R. Hayes in "A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing" (1981).[3] Since writing interrelates with external pressures, students benefit most from writing instruction when it provides them with a sense of how what they write can be connected to the world outside of the classroom. According to Ann E. Berthoff, the job of a teacher "is to design sequences of assignments which let our students discover what language can do, what they can do with language". The rest of this page will focus on the writing process as a term used in teaching. In 1972, Donald M. Murray published a brief manifesto titled "Teach Writing as a Process Not Product",[4] a phrase which became a rallying cry for many writing teachers. Ten years later, in 1982, Maxine Hairston argued that the teaching of writing had undergone a "paradigm shift" in moving from a focus on written products to writing processes.[5] For many years, it was assumed that the writing process generally operated in some variation of three to five "stages"; the configuration below is typical: Prewriting Drafting (See Draft document) Revising (See Revision (writing)) Editing: proofreading Publishing What is now called "post-process" research demonstrates that it is seldom accurate to describe these "stages" as fixed steps in a straightforward process. Rather, they are more accurately conceptualized as overlapping parts of a complex whole or parts of a recursive process that are repeated multiple times throughout the writing process. Thus writers routinely discover that, for instance, editorial changes trigger brainstorming and a change of purpose; that drafting is temporarily interrupted to correct a misspelling; or that the boundary between prewriting and drafting is less than obvious. Dialectical process (Ann Berthoff Model) As Ann Berthoff writes in her article "Learning the Uses of Chaos": "Learning to write means learning to tolerate ambiguity, to learn that the making of meaning is a dialectical process determined by perspective and context. Meanings change as we think about them; statements and events, significances and interpretations can mean different things to different people at different times." This suggests that meaning grows on the hinges of ambiguity, which raises the following questions: Can the writing process be taught? Can the writing process be learned?