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Augmented Word-Processing: The Influence of Task Characteristics and Mode of Production on Writers' Cognitions


To characterize the influence of various constraints on students' composing processes, a study investigated the (1) type of instructions students received prior to their composing and revising sessions, (2) mode of production--whether a computer or paper and pencil was used for composition and revision, and (3) effect of skill level on students' writing processes. The study also examined difficulties that students encountered in regulating the role of editing while composing a first draft, resisting the temptation to edit frequently while using the word processor, planning during either the composing or revision sessions, and making global revisions to first draft compositions. Subjects, eight average and eight talented eighth grade students, completed four tasks, each of which constrained the composing conditions in some way. Tasks included a "no edit" composing session, "free edit" composing session, directed revision task, and spontaneous revision session. Findings indicated that the talented students, without the concomitant distraction of editing while composing on the computer, created valuable content in their preliminary drafts and then significantly improved their texts through global revisions. However, results suggested that the provision of word processors benefited neither the writing processes nor products of the average students. (Methods of protocol analysis are appended.) (JD)


Bryson, M. Augmented Word-Processing: The Influence of Task Characteristics and Mode of Production on Writers' Cognitions. Retrieved August 21, 2019 from .

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