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Creative Writing for English Majors

by: Eula D'Amore DVM

Creative Writing for English Majors CRW 3013

Marketplace > University of Central Florida > Creative Writing > CRW 3013 > Creative Writing for English Majors
Eula D'Amore DVM
University of Central Florida
GPA 3.75

Michele Randall

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Michele Randall
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This 27 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eula D'Amore DVM on Thursday October 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CRW 3013 at University of Central Florida taught by Michele Randall in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see /class/227571/crw-3013-university-of-central-florida in Creative Writing at University of Central Florida.


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Date Created: 10/22/15
HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 ISSN 10152059 THE REVISION PROCESS IN ACADEMIC WRITING FROM PEN amp PAPER TO WORD PROCESSOR Stephen Chadwick and Nigel Bruce Language Centre University of Hong Kong Part 1 INTRODUCTION 11 The Process Approach Teachers of academic writing have in recent years been turning their attention increasingly to the process of writing and exploring processoriented approaches to writing instruction Murray 1978 Perl 1979 amp Taylor 1984 Murray for example feels that the teaching profession s quotnormal obsession with product rather than process leads us towards dangerous misconceptions about the writing processquot and that quotthe process of discovery of using language to find out what you are going to say is a key part of the writing processquot This is not to underplay the importance of final products Most writing eventually reaches a stage when the writer decides it is a 39final39 product whether that means readiness for publication or simply for handing in to a teacher for assessment The writer s aim is to reach a stage at which he is satisfied with his communication to the intended reader Students of writing can only benefit from an approach which instead of requiring a first draft as a final unalterable product for assessment encourages them to produce several drafts with constructive feedback from tutors between drafts Writing therefore goes through a kind of metamorphosis on its way to its final state and it is important that students learn that this is a normal process even for a proficient and experienced writer Central to this notion of writing being a process is the importance of the revision or rewriting stage quotwriting is a discovery procedure which relies heavily on the power of revision to clarify and refine that discoveryquot Taylor 1984 It seems obvious that if students are to be able to clarify and refine what they want to say then atomistic sentencebased or examplecentred remedial instruction must be supplemented by the frequent revision of written drafts quotTeacher presentations of standard patterns of organization or discussions on how to support an argument certainly have their place but there is no guarantee that the necessary skills will be transferred and that the students will be able to draw on the information when they actually need it Showing students where their own arguments are weak or where their logic breaks down appears to be a more effective approachquot Taylor 1984 our italics Revising their own texts allows students the39oppOrtunity to reflect exclusively on their own writing problems and makes any feedback or commentary from the instructor immediately relevant In this regard it is important to distinguish between first drafts and revised drafts 12 1st Draft vs Revised Draft It is very difficult to make a clear distinction between or even to clearly define the notions of a 1st draft and a revised draft One difficulty in trying to make such a distinction is that a draft HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 exists first in the mind and is altered both before and during the actual act of writing through deletions substitutions and additions Marder 1982 Nevertheless in the context of university assignments which are often undertaken at least at Hong Kong University under great pressure from other academic claims on students39 time and attention we can for the purposes of this paper distinguish 1st draft from revised draft in the following terms assuming the penandpaper or typewritten method as the norm a Since most students do not have time to craft a preliminary version complete with ongoing deletions substitutions and additions and then write out a neat unblemished copy a first draft is in most respects the same as a completed first attempt intended for submission as under exam conditions The limited amount of revision of the written text that gigs go on at this stage before handing in the assignment tends to be at the sentence rather than discourse level There may be some students who choose to revise and edit work and then recopy but these would seem to be in the minority see eg Foulds 1987 Exactly hgw students go about preparing their 1st draft is difficult to pin down other than by eliciting subjective writing protocols eg Hayes amp Flower 1981 The computer offers us the prospect of being able to register each editing intervention as part of a linear record we hope to be able to employ this technique in the near future A 1st draft is generally uninfluenced by another opinion one can be too close39 to a 1st draft and unaware of one s audience Sommers 1980 writes of student inability to quotreview their work again with different eyesquot b A revised draft on the other hand is an attempt to quotclarify and refinequot and tends to be made after consultation with others particularly tutors thus increasing the sense of audience Of course students could well consult themselves through that inner 4 dialogue which helps a writer to distance himself from a text and develop a greater sense of audience This ideal however assumes that the students already possess the necessary metadiscoursal awareness to determine when they are not communicating successfully with their audience and to be able to rectify any shortcomings But as Taylor 1984 puts it quotLacking nativelike intuitions about vocabulary syntax tone style formality and organizational patterns students often cannot see problems in their own writing Beach 1979 Perl 1979 and will need to rely extensively on positive constructive feedbackquot Hence since the goal of our instruction is to help students to develop these intuitions and selfquestioning strategies so that effective revision can take place before submitting a draft for comments we must explore ways to ensure interim feedback and guidance on an individual basis and not necessarily always from the classroom teacher Eventually one would hope to be able to rely on effective regular peer evaluation as an integral part of the process in the writing classroom The important thing is that in helping students to develop these strategies feedback should be given between drafts and not merely as an assessment of a final product 13 Holistic Writing The emphasis in this paper is more on the contribution teachers can make to a move to a more learnercentred processoriented and holistic approach to the development of writing skills HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISDCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 We need particularly to ask what it is exactly about students writing that teachers are concerned with improving at the critical stage between the first and revised draft In the area of academic expository writing especially at the tertiary level the emphasis has increasingly been placed on improving not only morphosyntactic accuracy and uency but also rhetorical features like the cohesion coherence organization and overall communicativity dare one say quotcommunicative dynamismquot of discourse A concern with such features is what Marder 1982 calls the attempt to reduce the quotentropyquot or processing disorder of the text in relation to the reader by ensuring familiarity with content and an appropriate level and proportion of abstraction and density of relationships All of these factors and not simply grammaticality and fluency contribute to the communicative quality of the text and consequently they an need addressing in the teacher s comments This kind of feedback will enable the student to develop an ability to view the text olistically to look beyond words sentences or even paragraphs and to assess how well the entire text is achieving its rhetorical goals Researchers Beach 1976 and Sommers 1978 have found that good writers have a much better grasp of both of these factors than poor writers Good writers tend to think in terms of general patterns of development and view their work holistically both at the conceptual and the revision stage of the writing process It is therefore vital for writing teachers to address such issues Windhover 1982 states that the main concern of an academic writing programme is that students quotlearn to view their own writing holistically so they can make major revisionsquot In short a holistic approach to revision will enable students to develop the ability not only to judge whether the main verb in a given sentence agrees with its subject but more importantly to what extent their writing is appropriate for the rhetorical situation genre and how well it fulfils its rhetorical goals 14 Piewriting Apprehension Practical experience however has taught us that this emphasis on the process of writing and on producing several drafts has a number of drawbacks One is that no matter how crucial the teacher makes the rewriting stage for students there is no denying the drudgery of the process Students face the prospect of rewriting with varying degrees of what Daly amp Miller have called writing apprehensionquot although in this context we consider the term quotgwriting apprehensionquot more appropriate Rewriting can invoke both a sense of shame and disappointment at the failure of the first draft and apprehension at the thought of a timeconsuming total rewrite Murray 1978 goes as far as to refer to a punishment factor when talking about rewriting This may be due to the students own feelings about rewriting but can equally be a result of the way revision is viewed by the teacher Teachers who require rewrites do not necessarily do so because they see this as a necessary part of the writing process In some cases a request for a rewrite may be restricted to those students whose work is felt to need the most radical revision because the finished product is below a certain standard This approach seems to shift the focus away from the value of the process of revision and onto the product since as Higgins amp Johns 1984 have noted quotimplicitly the students are being trained to submit their first effort as the final version The rewriting is only required because the first draft was an unacceptable final version Even if we assume that the teacher M impress upon students that revision is a necessary routine and desirable phase in the writing process there still remains a second important factor which increases rewriting apprehension and which compounds the problem of a sense of punishment This is what Kemmis 1979 calls quotinauthentic labourquot Phillips 1986 defines this as quotthe nonproductive work generated as a side effect of the task to be accomplishedquot In the context of revising texts this nonproductive work is the laborious task of copying those parts of the first draft which one does not wish to change Foulds 1987 recognizes that there is a quotnatural unwillingnessquot on the part of students to rewrite since this is indeed a quotdreary businessquot Although HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUISTICS AND ANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1969 professional writers like Neil Simon might think of the rewriting phase as the quotfunquot part of writings we cannot expect the same degree of commitment or involvement from students required to re write routine academic reports or essays especially when the task in large part consists of laborious and educationally almost valueless copying 15 Rewriting or Revision It is important at this point to make the crucial distinction between our use of the terms rewriting and revision in this paper we take gwriting to be the total rewriting of a text for lack of any simpler or shorter means of producing a significantly altered handwritten or typed version the emphasis is on what the writer does ie literally writing again which may often be a largely mechanical operation involving extensive copying Revision means literally quotseeing againquot and is a higher level cognitive operation the process by which a text is critically overhauled to enhance its effectiveness in getting a message across to the reader If a text is quotrewrittenquot there is no connotation of the degree of alteration merely the fact of alteration Certainly students often fail to see the value of quotrewritequot revision in terms of substantive changes since so much of their time is spent on semantically empty copying From a student s perspective revision places the emphasis on the changes to be made a constructive activity while rewriting places the focus largely on what is to remain the same Rewriting is therefore seen as a tedious but necessary consequence of revision 16 The quotStudentCentredquot Approach it is perhaps paradoxical that teachers increasingly adopting a quotstudentcentredquot approach to language instruction are also reluctant to demand wholesale rewriting of their students The result is another important obstacle to teaching writing as a process Even though teachers might believe ip theory that the only satisfactory means of effecting holistic writing revision is to require I extensive rewriting i3 practice they are sensitive to the punishmentfactor and to the non productive labour involved when assigning a total rewrite This sensitivity greatly affects what teachers routinely require from students Moreover as we have already mentioned it the teacher wants to improve the communicative quality of the student s work after the first draft we may assume at least at the tertiary level that there will be two levels of commentary The first is at the rhetorical level addressing the written discourse as a whole while the second is at the morpho syntactic level limiting the focus to isolated words or sentences The question then arises as to which level of feedback the teacher expects the student to respond to at the revision stage Because the teacher is aware of the nonproductive labour and punishment factors students are often only required to act on comments on grammar vocabulary and style More than that would involve largescale rewriting and might seem an unreasonable request Teachers might therefore require students to rewrite only parts of their texts But if good writers as Sommers suggests conceptualize the blueprint of their draft as a whole when they revise and are concerned primarily with finding quota framework a pattern or a designquot for their argument then instructors should be aiming to develop such skills It would seem to defeat the object of the revision exercise to ask students to merely focus on certain gem of their texts if we are reluctant to make students revise their entire texts then why do we make comments on rhetorical structure The hope is of course that the student can internalize the comments and apply them to the next assignment If however we agree with Taylor that in order to maximize the transference of skills from one situation to another students need constructive feedback on their gvm texts then it would seem logical that they should also be encouraged to act directly on the teacher39s comments on rhetorical structure HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUIS TICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 We are faced then with an awkward dichotomy On the one hand teachers feel rewriting to be essential if their students are going to develop a sense for what is good rhetorical organization and on the other they are hesitant to ask for it because of these negative sideeffects of requiring students to rewrite sizeable chunks of text or indeed entire assignments It is therefore ironic that the increased sensitivity to the human factor in language teaching may unwittineg be preventing student writers from acquiring the necessary skills for holistic revision only perpetuating what Sommers 1980 calls the quotinability to see revision as a processquot 17 PenandPaper vs Wgrd Processor However much one wishes to centre a course around the writing process the conventional penandpaper or even typewriter medium obliges the writer to engage in complete rewriting with all the issues of redundancy and demotivation that entails The wordprocessor on the other hand offers teachers of writing the opportunity to focus student energy on creative writing at all times It is in the light of our overall diagnosis of problems with penpushing39 writing courses that the move to computerassisted revision appears to be such a promising alternative and potential solution to a problem which though apparently largely logistical is at root one of conception Are teachers in their desire to effect improved writing competence emphasizing the process or the product The conventional approach penandpaper or typed rewrite with all the accompanying drawbacks we have already mentioned seems to us to impede both a process approach to Writing improvement and a holistic view of text revision On the basis of evidence presented by other researchers Daiute 1985 Phillips 1986 Higgins amp Johns 1984 we hypothesized that using the Word Processor as a writing tool might encourage or enhance a process approach to writing instruction We therefore undertook a pilot comparative study with 2 groups of 1styear Engineering students at Hong Kong University to explore to what extent the computer is as Daiute describes it the perfect writing tool for a process approach to writingquot HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 Part 2 THE STUDY 21 Introduction information was sought on 3 fronts students attitudes to each medium their performance and the processes they use in revising by each method a Experimental Hypotheses Our experimental hypotheses were that the use of a word processor has an effect on A writing performance B student attitudes to writing and revising and C the process by which students revise their scripts We hoped that the results of the study would also enable us to provide some initial answers to a question posed by Martin Phillips 1986 namely quotto what extent will the ways in which we propose to exploit the computer lead to positive benefits in terms of their impact on methodologyquot b Experimental Design This study took place between September 1987 and March 1988 at the University of Hong Kong s Language Centre A control group of 13 firstyear industrial and mechanical engineering students and an experimental group comprising 12 firstyear students from the civil and electrical engineering departments both followed the Centre s 20hour report writing course for engineers over a 10 week period On entry to the course both groups were found to be comparable in terms of writing skills The division between departments industrial mechanical and civil eectrica was determined by timetable restrictions Both groups had the same instructor so that course content and methods of instruction were as far as possible identical The control group hereafter referred to as quotP groupquot for penandpaper were taught in a conventional classroom setting doing all their writing by hand whereas sessions for the experimental group quotC groupquot for computer were timetabled in a computer laboratory at the University s Computer Centre and did their writing on word processors In order to monitor their performance students sat pre and post course tests Both groups wrote these tests by hand under examination conditions Requiring the C group to complete the test on word processors might have been more appropriate but would not have allowed a valid comparison of the two groups results given the unpredictability of computer networks and the need for clockwork timing in exam sessions indications of students attitudes to writing were gained from pre and post course questionnaires During the course students were asked to complete a number of short written assignments and three drafts of a long report All of these assignments were written by the C group on wordprocessors The written texts were analyzed in an attempt to measure any improvements in writing performance The questionnaires together with further analysis of the three drafts of the long report also provided information on the strategies students employ in the process of writing HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 22 PERFORMANCE 221 Methods a W All students wishing to follow an engineering course at the University must obtain a grade 39E39 the lowest Pass grade the highest being A39 on the Hong Kong Examination Authority s Use of English paper This examination is designed to test general language proficiency Since the results of the UE examination are simply given in the form of a grade on a scale of A to E it was difficult to subject these grades to any statistical analysis On entering the University all engineering students sit the Language Centre s placement Based on their performance on this test the weaker 50 of students are selected for the academic reportwriting course The placement test comprises a reportwriting task and a Ctest Student responses on the Ctest were marked on a rightwrong basis The writing task required students to write a report from information provided in the form of graphs notes and tables The scripts were given a subjective impression mark by two separate markers on a 1 to 7 scale The results from these two tests were subjected to statistical analysis using a simple Meet and a Mann Whitney gtest to ascertain whether there was any measurable difference between the groups before the course began b Endof Course Projects Towards the end of the course all students worked on a problemsolving project during which they had to devise a scheme fulfilling the electrical energy requirements of a small fictitious island Students worked in groups at the prewriting stage discussing options doing calculations and making oral presentations to the rest of the class Each group was asked to work as a team to come up with a plausible solution but students then wrote reports outlining the scheme and justifying their arguments on their own After writing the first draft of this report the students received comments on the rhetorical features of their texts as well as on the content After a feedback session looking at common problems arising from the drafts students were asked to rewrite the reports This second draft was marked for spelling lexical stylistic and grammatical appropriateness and students were asked to edit it to produce the third and final draft to be handed in for assessment It was at this stage that the texts were graded All of them were later typed on a computer the different impressions made on the reader by handwritingprintout being an unwanted variable and graded by two experienced markers who had taught the course but who did not know the students A marking scheme was used which was designed to assess general writing proficiency and grades were again awarded on a 1 to 7 scale according to success in meeting the rhetorical objectives of the course c PostCourse Achievement Test After completing the course all students sat an achievement test designed to be a parallel test to the writing task on the placement test The scripts were marked in the same way as in the placement test using the same two markers and a 1 to 7 scale The markers were again asked to focus specifically on the rhetorical and linguistic skills taught on the course Again the results were subjected to statistical analysis using a ttest and the MannWhitney Utest HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 222 Results See Appendix 1 The P group scored somewhat better than the C group in the UE examination A Mann Whitney Utest used because of a large variation in SD39s between groups also revealed that the P group scored significantly higher plt 05 on the CTest These two results together suggest that the P group were more competent than the C group with regard to general language proficiency On the pre course writing task we also used a MannWhitney Utest again because of the large difference in 5039s between the two groups This time the analysis revealed no significant differences It was therefore concluded that although the two groups differed in terms of general language proficiency they were comparable in terms of writing ability when the course started The Grades from the long groiects written by the C group on wordprocessors showed much closer SD s between groups using both marking schemes This time we did both a ttest and a MannWhitney g test on the data Neither test revealed any significant difference between the two groups in either of the assessments The results of the gostcourse test written by hand by both groups showed that the C group performed significantly better than the P group both when compared using the ttest plt02 and the MannWhitney g test P lt 05 223 Discussion Since the duration of the course was so short only 10 weeks and the hours of instruction so few 20 we did not expect that writing on the computer in itself would produce any immediate and direct effects on writing quality We were somewhat surprised then to see that the C group appeared to show significantly greater improvement than the P group on the postcourse test However a further analysis of the data suggests that another variable not the use of the computer might account for the difference The Cgroup SD s in the precourse tests were much higher than v for the P group signifying a greater range of ability within the C group and more students at the lower end of the ability spectrum We would consequently expect these students who have greater room for improvement to push up the mean for the group as a whole on the postcourse test We would not expect the mean of the P group to alter dramatically since the range of ability within the group seems to be much smaller This catchup effect39 seems to provide the most convincing explanation especially since the postcourse test was written by hand by both groups When marked for general writing proficiency the projects which the C group wrote on word processors again showed the C group had a higher mean score although the difference was not significant These results seem to confirm what our basic teaching intuitions told us and what writers like Pierson amp Leung 1987 Foulds 1987 Daiute 1985 have found namely that computers do not in themselves produce good writing at least not to a degree that we could confidently measure after so short a course More interest is now being directed towards the effect they have on attitude and the writing process However if the computer39s in uence on these factors is sufficiently positive then there is the possibility that we can still expect improved writing quality from students in the long run The catchup effect39 noted in the post test results could well be due at least in part to the positive effect the wordprocessor has on student attitudes HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUISTICS AND ANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 23 ATTITUDE 231 Methods Before the course began both groups were asked to complete a precourse questionnaire which was designed to determine a what strategies engineering students think they employ when in the process of writing and b what their attitudes are towards writing At the end of the course students were asked to fill in a postcourse questionnaire in order to find out how students thought a they had written their assignments during the course and b they would write assignments in future A staff student consultation meeting was held when the course had finished all engineering groups on the writing course including our control and experimental groups were represented by elected students The purpose of the meeting was to get direct feedback from students with a view to evaluating the course and revising it for future classes We were also particularly interested in hearing students comments on writing on the wordprocessor 232 Results a The PreCourse Questionnaire There were no significant differences between the two groups with regard to attitudes towards the writing process In the Erewriting stage the responses varied a great deal from individual to individual though few students 25 in either group said that they write detailed plans When writing their assignments students from both groups stated that they spend time thinking what they are going to say before writing so that they do not have to rewrite aftenNards Few students 25 reported that they write quickly knowing they can change their work later However the majority of students estimated that they do spend some time revising and editing their work and of these one third admitted to recopying it When asked to indicate how important they thought it was to revise their own work nearly all students thought it important or essential However they saw it as more important on the whole to revise before receiving a teacher s comments than after b The PostCourse Questionnaire See Appendix 2 Responses to this questionnaire revealed that there were very few differences between the two groups as regards prewriting writing or revision strategies Slightly more students in the P group said they wrote detailed plans before writing and that they would continue to do so in future More students in the P group said they spent time thinking before writing their assignments even though they knew they could change their texts later 4 students 33 in the C group said they spent quite a lota great deal of time revising the structure of whole paragraphs compared with only 1 student 7 in the P group HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 There seemed to be no major differences between the groups in terms of ease and enjoyment totals However when we look at the breakdown of these totals we see that the C group found writing assignments both easier and more enjoyable while revising was easier though slightly less enjoyable It is at the editing stage however that the C group39s responses were most negative The most striking difference between the groups was in how effective they felt their writing of the assignments was 7 of the computer students 58 felt their writing to be quite effectivevery effective whereas 12 of the P group 92 felt it was okaynot very effective The C group seemed to feel more positive about the effectiveness of the course in improving their ability to write assignments If not required by their tutors to revise or edit their work slightly more students in the C group thought they would revise organization anyway while slightly more of the P group thought they would edit for grammar spelling and vocabulary The final question on the post course questionnaire asked the open question quotDo you think the course has changed the way in which you write your assignments If so in what wayquot Almost all students 22 88 felt the course had changed the way they wrote assignments The P group concentrated their comments on the content of the course feeling that it had improved their organization revision skills etc The C group wrote much longer comments stressing the value of the computer as a writing tool Of the 11 students who wrote something 5 45 mentioned that the computer made revising editing and rewriting easier 5 also felt a computer printout improved the appearance of their work as one student put it quotUsually my assignments are not tidy but now by using the computer it gives me the impression that my work is tidy and easier to be read quot 4 students 36 felt that it took them longer to write assignments on computers because they did not know how to type Of these 2 18 qualified this by saying that the time spent was worth it since the appearance of their work was improved c Staffstudent consultation meeting This was attended by five students representing the six engineering writing classes The C group representative said that his group liked writing and revising on computers whereas the P group39s representative said although his group felt revising was useful they did not enjoy it There was some discussion on the possible use of the computer to write assignments in future during which several students said they would like to be given the choice between writing on computers or by hand 3 representatives went on to say that if given the choice they would still prefer to write by hand Inability to type and slow typing speeds were cited as the reasons for the reluctance to use computers 233 Discussion a The PreCourse Questionnaire Our main aim in giving this questionnaire to students before the course began was to gain some insight into the way students ordinarily tend to write assignments we felt this would at least to some extent offer a reflection on what they had previously been taught It appears that the majority of students think a lot before writing and very few write quickly with the intention of changing the draft afterwards This could be due to the notion gained through years of experience in secondary schools that any draft handed in to the teacher is the fina HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 product Students tend to have a sense of completeness39 when they produce their first draft and there is little notion of writing being a process This is a notion that is difficult to unlearn Another result which seems to indicate an emphasis on the final product is that while nearly all students felt it was importantessential to revise edit their work most thought it important to do this before receiving a teacher s comments They are obviously unused to getting work back with comments which they are routinely expected to act upon The sense of failure and punishment attached to a request to rewrite a text seems quite understandable in the light of these comments since rewrites are not associated with the normal writing process b The PostCourse Questionnaire it appears from these results that although there was no major difference in responses between the groups after the ten weeks there was a move towards a more exible approach by the C group in the sense that they now had ease of revision in mind before they started writing Both groups were told before writing that they could changerevise their work later and the P group were told they need not rewrite the entire text but could cut and paste to facilitate the production of a revised draft Nevertheless the P group spent longer thinking before writing than the C group This could well be because even with the cut and paste facility revision with pen andpaper is still much more timeconsuming and burdensome than with the word processor The fact that more students in the C group said they spent quite a lota lot of time revising the structure of whole paragraphs appears to have two possible explanations Firstly it may be that the C group simply took longer to accomplish the same type of revisions as the P group This however seems unlikely Even given that the P group could cut out sentences and rearrange them it is hard to believe that this is a faster method than using a computer to move text around on the screen A more likely explanation seems to be that the ease with which the C group could manipulate paragraph structure meant they spent more time considering this aspect of their text revusron Several factors might account for why editing seemed to be easier for the P group Firstly several of the Cgroup students were totally unfamiliar with wordprocessing on computers Secondly those students who were familiar with wordprocessing were nevertheless unfamiliar with the software program the University employs PCWrite Thirdly poor typing skills were cited by 2 18 students as the reason why they found working on the wordprocessor took longer even for adding deleting substituting short phrases single words or letters These initial difficulties with computers are common to most beginners Almost all who regularly use computers however see the difficulties with the mechanics of typing and so on as shortlived At 20 hours only half of which was actually spent on the word processor the course did not allow students time to develop familiarity with the medium We would hypothesize therefore that both ease and enjoyment would be enhanced as familiarity with the medium increases Nevertheless these initial difficulties do pose a problem in comparing writers using a totally familiar medium with others using one which is quite unfamiliar Daiute 1985 discusses this issue at some length commenting that nearly all studies are carried out when students are at this initial experimental stage The interesting thing with our results is that the C group found revision easier while the P group found editing easier We do not know if the picture would remain the same if we administered another questionnaire after the students had been using the computers for several months Our own experience tells us that after learning how to use spelling checkers thesauruses searchandreplace facilities and how to move quickly around long texts using 39macro commands several complex commands condensed into one or two keystrokes the computer users would also find editing easier on the computer Nevertheless as tertiary level writing teachers we find this shift in emphasis away from surface level changes and on to macrostructural changes a welcome result of introducing the computer into writing classes HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUSTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 remedying an area of neglect in our students39 previous writing instruction One other problem we encountered was in interpreting student responses in the quoteffectivenessquot sections see Appendix 2 In retrospect we saw that while the wording of questions 1820 seems to be fairly explicit there may have been some ambiguity as to the precise meanings of questions 1517 Did students for example interpret quoteffectivequot as meaning that theii endproducts fulfilled the course goals effectively Or that the computer was more effective as a writing instrument We do not know the answer to this and are therefore reluctant to draw any conclusions from these responses Responses to questions 18 and 19 appear to be the most intriguing and perhaps also the most significant The C group seemed to think the course was more effective than the P group dif The fact that more students in the C group thought the course effective in improving the organization of their work as well as being a result of previously mentioned factors could also have to do with nonproductive labour Because we asked students to produce at least two and i the case of the final project three drafts of their assignments this factor may be an important one When students work on the wordprocessor all their interventions produce meaningful results that is they simply revise text and need not rewrite When writing using penandpaper the student faces a dilemma either he rewrites the whole or a large portion of his text which will involve extensive copying or else he decides to avoid this even if he sees certain limitations in the organization of the information as it stands if he rewrites he can hardly see the activity as quoteffectivequot if he chooses not to there may be a sense of frustration at leaving it in an unsatisfactory state Perhaps it is this sense of frustration at being limited in what they can revise that influenced the notion of effectiveness for the P group We discuss this idea further in section 32 24 PROCESS 241 Methods The three drafts of the long project were analyzed using Faigley and Witte s 1981 taxonomy of revision changes as a basis Since our main concern was whether there were any differences between the two groups in the way they revised as opposed to edited their texts we confined ourselves to what Faigley and Witte call quotMeaningquot changes and ignored quotSurfacequot changes see 243a All meaning changes were recorded using their Addition Deletion Substitution etc table both at the micro and macro structural levels in addition we also recorded the number of interventions each student made interventions are defined here as the actual number of changes as opposed to the number of sentence units which were changed Therefore a major deletion of say 6 sentences would be recorded as 6 in the Faigley and Witte taxonomy but as only one intervention This would enable us to look not only at the total number of sentence units that were changed but also at their distributions within the texts To make the analysis easier the different strategies were colourcoded using highlight pens Since little evidence was found of Faigley amp Witte39s Consolidation or Distribution strategies we only marked Addition Deletion Substitution and Permutation changes although Consolidation and Distribution strategies we3 looked for Time did not allow us to examine the texts of all 25 students so we chose to look at 6 student projects from each group Students were ranked according to the grades given to them in the assessment and every alternate student in the rank order was chosen giving a range of students from the most to the least proficient in each group HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 242 Results See Appendices 3a amp 3b By far the most frequently made type of revision was Addition both at the microa total of 50 and at the macro95 structural levels After that came Substitution 45 Deletion 30 and Permutation 29 We found very few Distributions only 1 at the micro level and no Consolidations There was a great deal of variation both within groups and between the two groups in terms of the number of revisions made Within the P group the total number of revisions ranged from 10 to 26 and within the C group from 3 to 48 Both groups combined made more macro 153 than micro98 structural revisions The C group made more revisions than the P group both at the micro 55 compared with 43 and at the macro structural levels 87 compared with 66 in total the C group made 142 meaning revisions while the P group made 109 The most significant macrostructural differences were found in additions with 62 changes by the C group against 33 by the P group substitutions the Pgroup numbering 24 of these against 4 for the C group and permutation with 13 changes by the C group against 4 by the Pgroup The C group intervened more frequently in their texts 91 times compared with 65 times for the P group It was also noted that the C group revisions spanned the entire text more frequently while the P group were more inclined to limit extensive revisions to one section or chunk of text with the exception of 1 student who rewrote the whole paper the teacher had instructed the P group that they need not re write the whole report they could quotcut and pastequot 243 Discussion a Faigley amp Witte39s Taxonomy The Faigley and Witte taxonomy proved useful in revealing what students tend to do when rewriting but in a comparison of approaches along the holisticatomistic spectrum we may need to look at different parameters Their distinction between surface and meaning changes while clear enough in itself does not allow for an analysis of other equally important factors We found some difficulty in interpreting their definitions of quotDistributionquot and quotConsolidationquot at the Macro Ievel and felt that the quotPermutationquot category would prove more useful if defined differently In their paper Faigley amp Witte define surface changes as those which do not affect meaning They seem to overlook however the notion that surface changes can sometimes radically influence the type of attention given to a text by the reader In our analysis of student reports for example students often inserted headings subheadings and numbering systems which dramatically altered the appearance of the text and in some cases greatly enhanced the accessibility of the information When categorizing such changes we would probably label them quotnonmeaning change additionsquot This seems not to fully describe their impact on the communicativity of the text as a whole Some studies referred to by Alison Piper 1988 in her review of research on the subject show that writers on wordprocessors become preoccupied with quotsurfacelevelquot manipulations of the text and editorial quotfiddling aboutquot One study Harris 1985 found that even the best students made fewer quotmacrostructurequot revisions when using the wordprocessor quotlnexperienced writers those who do not typically revise seem even less inclined to make major changes in the content and organization of their texts when they use the wordprocessorquot 13 HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUISTICS AND ANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 Cooperating with the reader however is an important part of communication and seems too vital a skill to have its manifestations dismissed as quotsurfacequot changes or quotfiddling aboutquot if it contributes to the enhancement of communication Consideration of whether and where to make such changes requires a holistic operation on the text by the writer A simple quantitative analysis therefore does not reflect the extent to which a quotmerequot surface change can alter the recipient s perception of the message of its focus and level of assertiveness for example In short while Faigley and Witte39s taxonomy was invaluable in quantifying our data we became aware of the dangers of relying too heavily upon it to determine degrees of writing competence in our students Another problem was that Faigley and Witte provide precise definitions of the various strategies in the context of quotmeaningpreserving surface changes only and leave the more difficult definitions of the meaning changes largely up to the reader this is not helpful if one s concern is largely with meaning changes see Note 5 What for example would be a quotConsolidationquot change at the macrostructural level If we take consolidation to be a reduction of essentially the same information from say three sentences into one then how would such a change affect a summary of the passage which is what is necessary for it to qualify as a meaning change at the macro level Certainly we found this difficult to pin down if the writer has summarized his information well the original meaning will be retained An effective consolidation change could therefore be recorded as a nonmeaning surface change while a poor one might be categorized as a macrostructural meaning change or as a substitution and not be recognized as consolidation at all Similar problems arise with Faigley and Witte39s definition of Permutation In applying this category to student texts we found two distinct varieties First some permutations were of the type where the writer reorders the information in the same location changing the order of information within a sentence or within neighbouring sentence units as in Faigley amp Witte39s example om Note 5 This variety of permutation we might term local permutation However often students would move a section of text to a totally new location eg from a Discussion to a Results or Feasibility section In each of the inteNentions of this kind the student was clearly revaluing the role and rhetorical function of the information being moved see 243b below and in Faigley amp Witte39s terms altering the 39meaning39 of the text at the macrostructural level This second type of permutation we might term global permutation a relocation of information which shows a sophisticated rhetorical awareness specific to the genre in question A similar case could be made for the category of global distribution but we could not identify any changes of this type in our small sample Certainly more careful consideration of rhetorical purpose and genre in academic writing is needed if studies using the Faigley amp Witte taxonomy are to be fruitfully c0mpared b Analysis of Revisions The most significant differences between the types of changes made by the 2 groups between drafts were at the macrostructural level particularly in the categories of Substitution Addition and Permutation The greater number of macrostructure substitutions made by the P group seems due to a tendency to cross out or discard and then replace an entire section of the report The C group in the same position given the same teacher criticism tended to insert new propositions or chunks of text where deemed appropriate hence the large number of Macrostructural additions HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 Perhaps most interesting were the Permutation changes especially those described above as 39global permutations Although these interventions were few in number 1 for the P group and 5 for the C group and only occurred in 3 of the 12 scripts analyzed 1 P group and 2 C group scripts they nevertheless amounted to a difference in actual sentence units changed of over 300 4 for the P group and 13 for the C group testifying to a sharpening of metadiscoursal awareness that we had not expected to find after such brief exposure to the word processor The P group instance was a case of perceiving the redundancy of repeating in text what had been made eminently clear in a diagram The writer retained only those prOpositions which drew attention to the most significant features of the scheme placing them after the diagram The global permutation changes made by the 2 C group students all featured the retention and relocation of text while revealing an awareness that it had been given an inappropriate rhetorical quotvaluequot One of the 2 students realized that what he had called his Conclusion was actually only adding qualification about potential drawbacks to his proposal and so properly belonged in the section Recommended Scheme The other C group student who had the most such interventions in his report 4 had first of all removed a rather philosophical introduction to his report after some class discussion on the likely shared knowledge between the reporter and the targeted reader He scaled down the frame of reference of the report moving his Background to the Project39 from p3 to the opening section of the report This writer had also begun his Feasibility section outlining the purpose of the project he proceeded to move this and create a separate Objective of the Report section Where he had included a criticism of an unsuitable form of energy in his description of the different energy sources he proceeded to move these comments to the Objective of the Report section narrowing the scope of the report by eliminating a priori unsuitable energy sources Finally this writer had listed his criteria for selecting energy options in his Recommended Scheme section on p6 of his report He moved these criteria 3 pages forward to a separate section just prior to the Feasibility section realizing that one cannot discuss the feasibility of an option without knowing what criteria one is judging the options by In helping students to develop a sense of how well their writing fulfills its rhetorical goals there seem to be clear advantages over the Humanitiestype essay to working with a text format which encourages the assignment of information to the service of specific rhetorical macrofunctions 99 Background Description of Energy Sources Feasibility of Energy Sources Recommended Scheme Discussion Conclusion Interpreting these data in terms of desirability of writing revision strategy we could say that the P method tends to encourage an allornothing approach to revision and in the case of a report clearly segmented into sections any holistic approach would be confined to the level of a section time and tolerance being the constraining factors It is very difficult to insert single sentences or small paragraphs into a larger text without adversely affecting its presentation an important factor in reports or opting for a total rewrite Since they were given the possibility to make photocopies of their texts cut them up and paste intact chunks of text onto their revised version the P group students tended to think in terms of revising by section opting to change those sections deemed least satisfactory Where m of the text was acceptable they decided to leave it alone Conversely where they felt unhappy with most of what they had written in a particular section they chose to rewrite It seemed to us that the focus was not so much on what should be changed but rather on what could be retained Occasionally however a student would decide to rewrite a large section for the sake of making minor changes In one extreme example a student wanted to insert two subheadings into the Introduction section of his report He pasted a 20Iine piece of paper over his old text having first recopied it exactly except that his writing was slightly smaller to make room for his two additions interestingly the 1 P group student who re wrote his entire paper iill produced a revision in which 50 of the text was unaltered and therefore 50 of his time had been spent on redundant copying One wonders how quoteffectivequot these P group students feel the revision stage of the writing process is in improving their work HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 The process analysis ultimately throws the spotlight back on attitudinal factors like punishm and rewriting apprehension 39 The C group seemed rather more willing to intervene in their texts The relative ease which they could add delete or relocate text meant they were able to focus on the overall rhetorical structure of their reports Freed from the restrictions imposed by the need to reWI they were more able to make a holistic appraisal of their texts This would account for the la number of macrostructural additions deletions and permutations for the C group with the quotc andpaste or total rewritequot technique accounting for the P group s much greater number of macrostructural substitutions Other researchers like Sommers Perl Raimes and Zamel have told us that good w revise more at the rhetorical39 level The use of the word processor at both the primary writir revision stage would seem by that yardstick to be encouraging better writing with a greate awareness of the rhetorical function and patterns of information and of the accessibility of the information for the reader Finally a word about our methodology One might well argue that if we had reguiret group students to rewrite the whole report they would have employed different revision stratt and would have intervened more frequently and more evenly throughout their texts just as ti group did This is undoubtedly true but it also proves an important point Our awareness oi writing apprehension and sense of punishment made us reluctant to require this from studen These reports were approximately 3 7 pages long with several diagrams Is a teacher justil requiring two rewrites from students knowing that approximately half of the activity would sit be copying We think not and this may go a long way to explaining why so little instruction practice is geally given in revision strategies during writing classes HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1969 Part 3 GENERAL DISCUSSION 31 Writing Quality We have already stated in the Discussion on Performance earlier in this paper that our basic teaching instincts told us before the study began that we could not expect to see any dramatic effect on writing quality simply by introducing students to writing on the computer Our reading of relevant literature strengthened that conviction With all our efforts there is still no hard evidence to indicate that the computer use in itself makes one a better writerquot Pierson amp Leung 1987 quotIt would be absurd to say that wordprocessing leads to good writingquot Foulds 1987 39T he few studies of writing quality have shown that writing on the computer is sometimes rated lower than writing done by the same people with traditional toolsquot Daiute 1985 Those writers who were prepared to say that computers actually improved writing quality did not unfortunately do it very convincingly quotWordprocessors make onscreen editing so easy that they encourage the user to try out the effect of changing or adding words changing the order of sentences or even paragraphs and playing around with the aesthetic effect of different layouts As a result they seem to be affecting the quality as well as the quantity of what is written on themquot Higgins amp Johns 1984 our italics One cannot expect the mere opportunity to quotplay aroundquot with layouts and quottry out the effectsquot of changing words around in itself to improve the quality of students writing Writing programmes have to be designed around pragmatic principles so that the development of rhetorical or metadiscoursal awareness in students becomes a prerequisite for any improvement in what we are calling the writing process Without such an awareness in the words of Daiute 1985 quotall the word processing commands in the world won t helpquot Not surprisingly then our results from the Performance section lead us to a rejection of our first experimental hypothesis The computer did not directly affect writing quality at least in the short term which in this case means 10 weeks or 20 hours of instruction Nevertheless results from the Attitude and Process sections of the study tend to confirm our two other experimental hypotheses and cause us to agree with Higgins and Johns that writing on the computer v affect writing quality but for quite different reasons Despite the short timespan of the study and the fact that students were for the most part novices with wordprocessors the computer seems to have had a positive effect on student attitudes to writing This was especially evident with regard to the ease with which they felt they could write and revise and their sense of the effectiveness of a computerbased writing course The computer certainly had an effect on the process the students went through in revising their work It is these two aspects of the results Attitude and Process which we believe will improve writing quality in the longterm If the computer changes the way students write and their attitudes towards writing then these factors together with the variety of writing aids the computer offers will certainly affect the way teachers teach writing in the classroom HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUSTCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1969 32 Writing Computers and Students In our discussion on 1st draft and revised drafts in the Introduction we mentioned that most students do not have time to produce a preliminary first draft revise and edit it and then write out a neat copy This point seems to have been confirmed by our precourse questionnaire Only one third of the students said they usually wrote a neat copy when writing with penand paper but most students said that they do spend some time revisingediting their work before handing it in if we accept that students do do some revising we might expect that teachers would frequently receive assignments complete with crossings out additions in the margins arrows indicating relocations of text and so on But this is not the case Students are too concerned about the appearance and presentation of their work to hand in very untidy papers a concern arising perhaps out of previous experience of critical responses from subject teachers We are therefore left with two possible explanations for how students prepare their first drafts using pen andpaper Either they simply do not change everything that they know could be improved because this makes their work too untidy g they spend a lot of time trying to express themselves clearly the first time and so avoid rewriting It seems in practice that students do a combination of both From a writing teacher s point of view this combination seems neither effective nor desirable Firstly the student should ideally be able to feel free to make whatever changes he thinks are necessary to his text without worrying about ruining39 his draft Secondly no matter how much thought and time goes into planning a piece of writing it is extremely difficult to get a sense of how the whole structure fits together as an entity while writing Since the physical act of writing is a linear production process the text can evolve in ways the writer had not at first intended as a word phrase or sentenceproposition sparks off a new idea This process makes it difficult to distance oneself and get a clear picture of the whole text while writing This can only be done through rereading once the draft is complete It seems that v by using penand paper students are missing out on this important stage in the writing process As we have said rewriting apprehension and the drudgery of copying seem to play a large part in dissuading students from revising their texts We can therefore postulate that a draft handed to a tutor is often not one a student feels satisfied with but is the best he feels he can achieve under the constraints of time and energy Computers change the writing process in that their various text manipulation features allow writers to jump backwards and towards in their texts revise and rephrase delete and insert and at the same time provide the writer with a hard copy at any stage Once the first draft is completed the student can read and reread make any number of changes without the generation of non productive labour or fear of spoiling the presentation of the text The student no longer faces the frustrating dilemma of whether to rewrite the whole involving meaningless copying or leave changes which he knows should be made but wants to avoid Writing on the computer means the student no longer has what Daiute describes as quota physical stake in producing final products on the first try because revising and even minor editing involve recopyingquot The text is as permanent or transient as the writer wishes to make it with the touch of a command key The students concept of a first draft is therefore likely to change since he can now produce several printouts and revise each one before arriving at a relatively satisfactory result Unlike writing with penandpaper the wordprocessed attempt will not be handed in to the tutor but will be seen simply as a completed first draft The student can therefore exhaust his own intuitions about what is good or bad what needs changing or leaving alone before requesting feedback from a tutor In consequence the computer despite its apparent complexity is in many ways a more natural writing instrument than penandpaper 18 HONGKONG PAPERS IN UNGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRL 1989 allowing recursive editing and revising without the debris39 of crossingsout and erasures In addition the printer offers the facility of freezing39 this process at any stage in the writing process When students do revise on computers they tend to revise more They revise more both at the macro and the microstructural levels and their interventions into their texts during revisions are more widespread These results suggest the computer encourages a more holistic approach to revision and not the minor editing at the sentence level which at this preliminary stage of the process the medium of penandpaper encourages except for those diligent few who are willing to recopy Completed wordprocessed drafts are therefore more likely to be satisfying for the student since the restraining factors of time and energy play far less of a role in his writing of assignments and in the revision strategies he employs Rather it is his own abilities as a writer which determine the quality of his first draft 33 Writing Computers and Teachers Just as the tape recorder and the language laboratory had an important effect on language teaching methodologies in their own ways and in their own day so the use of the computer is certain to affect writing classes Unlike the language laboratory the computer is not a quothothouse plant incapable of being transplanted to the environment of the world outsidequot Phillips 1986 The ubiquitous computer is here to stay pervading society at every level It is therefore unthinkable that the computer will be used for science classes humanities lessons even in the fine arts but mt for language teaching In other words it is not really a question of whether language teachers should use computers or not but rather of how best to make use of the unique attributes of the computer to improve the quality of writing instruction In Revising Intentions and Conventions 1982 Ellen Nold discusses research Gluckberg Krauss Higgins1975 that indicates that it is not the quantity but the quality of teachers comments on student papers that improves writing skills The more explicit the teacher39s comments the better the students responses She also emphasizes the need for teachers to move away from judging finished drafts and to facilitate students writing and revising of various drafts of the same paper In other words she advocates a processoriented approach to writing instruction She adds quotAs the quality of instruction improves so should the quality of student writingquot We feel this is true but as mentioned before there has always been an awkward yet perfectly understandable discrepancy between the theory of teaching writing as a process and the normal practice in writing classes From our research the computer emerges if not as the perfect writing tool in a processoriented approach to writing then at least as a vast improvement on pen and paper or the typewriter For a number of reasons we feel that in the hands of responsible teachers the word processor will have a positive effect on teaching methods allowing theory and practice to be satisfactorily merged in writing sessions for the first time Following are some of the pedagogical implications we can see of using wordprocessors in the writing classroom a Apprehension Results from the postcourse questionnaire suggest the computer plays a part in reducing rewriting apprehension and lessening the sense of punishment attached to rewrites students feel that all the revising they do is meaningful and involves no non productive work This means that computers will be invaluable tools in enabling teachers to shift the focus onto revision as a consistently meaningful and relevant activity rather than on rewriting a largely mechanical and only partially productive activity 19 HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTCS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 b Mess This shift of focus will facilitate the teaching of writing as a process Since students can begin writing knowing all the time that revisions are both easy and painless teachers for their part will routinely and frequently require revisions from students They will be able to do this for the first time without any professional qualms about the punishment and nonproductive labour factors Revising will be seen not as a punishment for a poor final product but as a natural stage in the writing process starting with a consideration of the rhetorical macrostructure of one39s text and gradually moving through to the lexicogrammatical editing stage 0 Holistic Approach to Writing Not only will teachers feel free to make comments on both rhetorical and linguistic features of student texts but they will iustifiably expect the students to g2 upon all of these in revising their work This in turn will mean that students will develop the skill to see the text holistically as an entity to be structured and restructured and not merely as a series of sentences and paragraphs to be corrected d The Writing Syllabus We predict that writing syllabuses will change Revision sessions are more likely to become a common element in the writing syllabus than was the case with penand paper Students will not have to do timeconsuming rewriting at home without recourse to a tutor to clarify annotated comments explain guidelines and make suggestions Instead revision sessions will be built into the course design and students can make constant use of the valuable resource their peers and tutors offer As computers become more commonplace they will also hopefully be able to book time on their institution s computer facilities to carry on their revision out of class e individualization Finally the focal point of all writing classes for a student will be his van writing One of the problems of group tuition is that students find it more difficult to perceive the relevance of a language point taught through someone else39s work It is not greatly motivating to have to continually abstract information about a linguistic system simply for its potential application to one s own writing No doubt many teachers will argue that while it is all very well to emphasize writing and revising as a process offering individualized feedback the teacher will be veritany swamped with student assignments to comment on Not only one but two or even three drafts of the same paper Of course there may well be more work for the teacher in that area but the computer offers many other facilities which would reduce the wastage of teacher time The need for tedious repetition of the same points of grammar for example whether written on the students papers or explained orally in the classroom could be largely eliminated if interactive software featuring both grammar and rhetorical structure instruction and exercises were accessible to students on computers while they were writing assignments Online thesauruses and spelling checkers would also cut down on teachers time The time saved on these mundane repetitious tasks would leave teachers freer to concentrate on the procedural and pragmatic dimensions of writing and revising In the first chapter of Computers in Language Learning 1984 Higgins and Johns explain that their aim is not only to justify using computers but also to discuss quotthe changes of attitude or approach that must accompany such use The learners must be to some extent in tune with the medium before they can benefit from itquot 20 HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 There is no doubt that the same changes of attitude and approach towards the use of computers in the writing classroom are essential on the part of teachers and educators if they are to provide students with the best possible environment in which to improve their writing skills NOTES 1 H Pauwels at the University of Antwerp Prinsstraat 13 B 2000 Antwerpen has used this technique with some success 2 After the Prague School communicative dynamism can be described as that quality or aggregate of qualities in a text which impels a reader through that text and which quotpushes the communication forwardquot Firbas 1971 136 3 quotRewriting is when playwriting really gets to be fun In baseball you only get three swings and you re out In rewriting you get almost as many swings as you want and you know sooner or later you ll hit the ballquot Neil Simon quoted in Murray 1978 4 In response to the last and only open question quotDo you think the course has changed the way in which you write your assignments If so in what way 9quot 5 Faigley amp Witte describe their categories most clearly in terms of MeaningPreserving Surface Changes39 We quote quotAdditions raise to the surface what can be inferred you pay two dollars gt you pay a twodollar entrance fee Deletions do the opposite so that a reader is forced to infer what had been explicit several rustic looking restaurants gt several rustic restaurants Substitutions trade words or longer units that represent the same concept outoftheway spots gt outoftheway places Permutations involve rearrangements or rearrangements with substitutions springtime means to most people gt springtime to most people means Distributions occur when material in one segment is passed into more than one segment A change where a writer revises what has been compressed into a single unit so that it falls into more than one unit is a distributional change I figured after walking so far the least it could do would be to provide a relaxing dinner since I was hungry gt figured the least it owed me was a good meal All that walking made me hungry Consolidations do the opposite Elements in two or more units are consolidated into one unit And there you find Hamilton s Pool it has cool green water surrounded by 50 foot cliffs and lush vegetation gt And there you find Hamilton39s Pool cool green water surrounded by 50foot cliffs and lush vegetation As the last example suggests consolidations are the primary revision operation in sentencecombining exercisesquot Faigley amp Witte 1981 p402 21 HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND ANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 REFERENCES Beach R 1979 The Effects of Betweemdratt Teacher Evaluation versus Student Selfevaluation on High School Students Revising of Rough Drafts Research in the Teaching of English 13 111119 Daiute C 1985 WritingampComputers Reading Mass AddisonWesley DaIyJ amp Miller M 1975 The Development of a Measure of Writing Apprehension Research in the Teaching of English 9 Deming MP 1987 The Effects of Word Processing on Basic College Writers Revision Strate ies Writin A rehension and Writin ualit while Com osin in the Ex osito Mode Unpublished PhD thesis Georgia State Univ Faigley L and Witte S 1981 Analyzing Revision College Composition and Communication 32 400414 Firbas J 1971 On the Concept of Communicative Dynamism in the Theory of Functional Sentence Perspective Universitas Brunensis Studia Minora A19 FlowerLamp Hayes J 1981 A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing College Composition amp Communication 32 365387 FouIdsD 1987 The Word Processor in Language Teaching New Friend or Old Foe39 In Proceedings of the 1986 ILE International Seminar on Language Teacher Education Hong Kong ILE Higgins J and Johns T 1984 Computers in Language Learning London Collins Kemmis S Atkin R and Wright E 1977 How Do Students Learn Working Papers on computerassisted IearninLLUNCAL evaluation studies Occasional Publications 5 Centre for Applied Research in Education University of East Anglia KrashenS 1984 Writing Research Theory Applications Oxford Pergamon MarderD 1982 Revision as Discovery and the Reduction of Entropy In R Sudol Ed Revising New Essays for Teachers of Writing ERIC Clearinghouse Murray D 1978 Internal Revision A Process of Discovery In Charles R Cooper and Lee Odell eds Research on Composing Points of Departure Urbana Illinois NCTE NoldE 1982 Revising Intentions and Conventions39 In RSudoI ed Revising New Essays for Teachers of Writing ERIC Clearinghouse PerIS 1979 The Composing Process of Unskilled College Writers39 Research in the Teaching of English 13 317339 PhillipsM 1986 CALL in its Educational Context In GLeech amp C Candlin Eds Computers in English Language Teaching amp Research New York Longman 22 HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND ANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1989 Pianko S 1979 A Description of the Composing Process of College Freshman Writers Research In the Teaching of English 13 522 PiersonH amp Leung F 1987 Towards a Better Understanding of CALL in the Continuing Education of Language Teachers In Proceedings of the 1986 ILE International Seminar on Language Teacher Education Hong Kong ILE PiperA 1988 Word Processing and Writing Some Research Results Muesli News November IATEFL Publications RaimesA 1987 Language Proficiency Writing Ability amp Composing Strategies a Study of ESL College Student Writers Language Learning 37 No3 439467 SommersN 1980 Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers College Composition and Communication 31 378388 StallardC 1974 An Analysis of the Writing Behaviour of Good Student Writers Research in the Teaching of English 8 206218 TaylorB 1984 Content and Written Form a 2way Street In SMackay Ed Composing in a Second Language Rowley Mass Newbury House WaIIS amp Petrovsky A 1981 Freshman Writers and Revision Results from a Survey Journal of Basic Writing 3 109122 WindoverR 1982 A Holistic Pedagogy for Freshman Composition In R SudoI Ed Revising New Essays for Teachers of Writing ERIC Clearinghouse ZamelV 1983 The Composing Processes of Advanced ESL Students 6 Case Histories TESOL Quarterly 17 165 187 23 b3 PERFORMANCE UE Drecourse Pre Course Projects PostCourse June 3987 CTest Writing February 3988 Writing Sept 3987 Test Test Sept 3987 Feb 88 Pass Grades Max 14 AHighest ELowest Max 100 Max 14 Markers 1 Markers 2 Max 14 Grade Lst No if so E so 2 SD x SD 3 so C 3 Penand Paper Group D 4 535 23 83 08 79 76 l 78 l 5 E 6 C 1 Computer 512 80 8 6 20 85 74 13 94 13 Group D 3 E 7 Significance PP Group plt005 MW None None None plt002 t slightly better plt005 MW L GNdeV 6961 7IUdV Zl ONIHOVBJ SDVDDNV I CW 8311 SIDDNU NI SHSdVd ONOXQNOH 93 Group Averages ATTITUDE for Questions 15 20 on PostCourse Questionnaire Administered February 1988 SCALE KEY 1 I 3 5 Very Enjoyable Very Boring Very Easy Very Difficult Very Effective Useless ENJOYMENT EASE EFFECTIVENESS How did you find PP Com PP Com PP Com 15 writing your assignments 28 26 29 26 33 24 16 revising the organization of your work 31 32 28 26 29 30 17 editing the grammar spelling vocabulary 33 36 27 29 27 29 TOTALS 92 94 84 81 89 83 EFFECTIVENESS How effective do you think the writing course has been in improving your ability to PP Com 18 write your assignments 26 21 19 revise the organization of your work 29 25 20 edit for grammar spelling vocabulary etc 32 32 TOTALS 8 7 7 8 Z XICINdeV 39 seat 7IUdV ZL SNIHOVBJ asmsmn an sou Sinan NI suadw SNOMSNOH 93 PROCESS Number of Revision Changes made by each Student in each Category for Long Project Drafts 1 to 2 PENANDPAPER GROUP COMPUTER GROUP Most Proficient lt gt Least Proficient IMost Proficient lt gt Least Proficient STRUCTURE CHANGES A5 A10 A4 A8 A1 A11 TOTA BS 131 812 1311 B10 B7 TOTAL Addition 1 5 6 9 2 1 5 6 12 6 2 9 Deletion 5 4 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 5 R Substitution 6 1 7 3 3 1 1 3 1 1 fl Permutation 2 1 3 6 2 1 9 0 Distribution 1 1 Consolidation SUBTOTAL 1 18 6 5 2 11 43 6 14 6 17 9 3 55 Addition 9 3 2 9 5 5 3 3 7 4 21 13 17 62 Deletion 4 4 3 6 9 Substitution 5 6 11 3 2 5 3 3 g Permutation 4 4 9 4 1 3 0 Distribution Consolidation SUBTOTAL 9 8 8 13 16 12 66 7 4 24 31 21 87 TOTAL MICROMACRO CHANGES FOR EACH GROUP 109 142 V8 XIONEddV 696i 7IHdV Zl BNIHOVSJ BSWONW CINV SOIlS SNI39I NI SUSdVd SNOXSNOH HONGKONG PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE TEACHING 12 APRIL 1969 APPENDIX SB Total Revision Changes in Second Drafts for the Computer and PenandPaper Groups Pen and Paper Computer Group Group ANING CHANGES MICROSTRUCTURE Changes Additions 21 29 Deletions 12 5 Substitutions 7 11 Permutations 3 9 Distributions 1 Consolidations MACROSTRUCTURE Changes Additions 33 62 Deletions 4 9 SUbstitutions 25 3 Permutations 4 13 Distributions Consolidations Tota1Number of Combined Revision Changes and Total Interventions in Second Drafts for Computer and PenandPaper Groups PenandPaper Computer Group Group MICROSTRUCTURE changes 43 55 B MACROSTRUCTURE Changes 66 87 TOTAL Changes 109 142 Sentence units TOTAL INTERVENTIONS 65 91 27


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