The composing process: insights from the literature and an established adult writer

Boak, Cathryn Jean (1985) The composing process: insights from the literature and an established adult writer. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The purposes for this investigation were to establish a theoretical and research framework for composing from a review of the literature and to extend this framework by studying the composing processes of an active adult writer. -- A critical review was carried out of selected studies of composing. The reviewed studies were then utilized to trace the development of a theoretical framework for composing research. Within the theoretical structure that emerged, the investigator observed an established writer in her normal work setting as she composed a self-assigned article. -- Three types of verbal reports from the writer were utilized in the analysis of her composing. These reports took the form of a preliminary interview, thinking-aloud protocols and retrospective interviews. The reports were supplemented by a text-based analysis of the writer's revisions in book reviews composed outside the research context. - The review of composing studies showed that since 1971 many researchers have moved away from a stage model of composing and toward a cognitive-process model of composing to serve as a theoretical framework for their research. The cognitive-process model was adopted as the theoretical structure for this study. Within this structure, analysis of composing was based upon the researcher's inferences about the cognitive processes employed by the writer as based upon the writer's verbal reports and the researcher's observations. The utilization of multiple verbal reports within a case study method was found to be a valuable approach to research, yielding large amounts of basic information and converging lines of evidence about the writer's composing. -- Composing was found to be a dynamic process in which writing processes could not be assigned to any one stage or function. Instead, composing was characterized by complex interactions of thinking processes that were deployed according to the writer's broad goals, learned strategies and immediate plans. These goals, strategies and plans were key factors in composing. They mediated the influence of contextual factors and provided direction for the thinking processes, but were themselves subject to review and modification as the writer's ideas developed through her creation of text.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10168
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 152-156.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1985
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Porter, Helen; Authorship; English language--Rhetoric.

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