Landmark Essays on Writing Process

Front Cover
Sondra Perl
Psychology Press, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 250 pages
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As the field of composition studies became more sophisticated in its understanding of research, the designs and assumptions underlying the early work were called into question. Researchers were challenged to design studies that were sensitive to the varying contexts in which writers write and to the ways their own roles shaped their investigations. The more comprehensive studies called for by these critiques are only now beginning to appear.

This volume presents some articles in which writers and what they do are at the center of inquiry. The focus is on what actually occurs as people write and how they make sense of what they are doing. Choosing such a focus grants human action central importance and enacts the belief that looking closely at individuals can be a primary starting point for understanding them and their worlds. Other papers take the researcher's shaping role into account. The integrity of such work rests not so much on a lifeless detachment from the phenomena being studied as on the author's vital engagement, and on a faithful rendering of what has been observed. This includes the author revealing his or her own impact of what has been seen and said.

In the broadest sense, composing is something we all do: the students and parents and writers and teachers who serve as subjects of research and those who write the research itself. It is what each of us is engaged in when we shape our understanding of life through the writing we do. And it is what can continue to light the way in composition studies for it illuminates what still makes this inquiry so intriguing and so rich -- that only human beings have this capacity to look and see more, to create new texts and new work, and in the creating compose their way to new understandings and new selves.
 

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Contents

The Composing Process Review of the Literature 1971
1
An Examination of the Writing Processes of SevenYearOld Children 1975
23
The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers 1979
39
The Cognition of Discovery Defining a Rhetorical Problem 1980
63
Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers 1980
75
Rigid Rules Inflexible Plans and the Stifling of Language A Cognitivist Analysis of Writers Block 1980
85
Understanding Composing 1980
99
The Intelligent Eye and the Thinking Hand 1983
107
Composing as a Woman 1988
177
Finding a Comfortable Identity 1987
191
Fun? 1991
199
All Writing Is Autobiography 1991
207
Between the Drafts 1992
217
The Writing Life 1989
225
Writing For Your Life 1992
227
A Way of Writing 1970
231

The Winds of Change Thomas Kuhn and the Revolution in the Teaching of Writing 1982
113
Decisions and Revisions The Planning Strategies of a Publishing Writer 1983
127
Writing and Knowing Toward Redefining the Writing Process 1985
141
Competing Theories of Process A Critique and a Proposal 1986
149
From Silence to Words Writing as Struggle 1987
165
Everybody Is Talented Original and Has Something Important to Say 1938
235
Bibliography
239
Index
245
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Sondra Perl, Ph.D., is Professor of English at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she coordinates the Ph.D. program in composition and rhetoric. An acclaimed teacher and a Guggenheim Fellow, Dr. Perl has been leading writing workshops on college campuses and in universities, in North America and abroad, for over 20 years.

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