Reading-to-Write: Exploring a Cognitive and Social Process

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Oxford University Press, Sep 20, 1990 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 280 pages
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The Social and Cognitive Studies in Writing and Literacy Series, is devoted to books that bridge research, theory, and practice, exploring social and cognitive processes in writing and expanding our knowledge of literacy as an active constructive process--as students move from high school to college. This descriptive study of reading-to-write examines a critical point in every college student's academic performance: when he or she is faced with the task of reading a source, integrating personal ideas, and creating an individual text with a self-defined purpose. Offering an unusually comprehensive view of this process, the authors chart a group of freshmen as they study and write in their dormitories, recording their "think-aloud" strategies for reading, writing, and revising, their interpretation of the task, and their broader social, cultural, and contextual understanding of college writing. Flower, Stein, and colleagues convincingly conclude that the legacy of schooling in general makes the transition to college difficult and, more important, that the assumptions students hold and the strategies they use in undertaking this task play a significant role in their academic performance. Embracing a broad range of perspectives from rhetoric, composition, literacy research, literary and cultural theory, and cognitive psychology, this rigorous analysis treats reading-to-write as both a cognitive and social process. It will interest researchers and theoreticians in rhetoric and writing, teachers working with students in transition from high school to college, and educators involved in the links between cognition and the social process.

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Page 4 - goal-directed, context-specific" behavior, which means that a literate person is able to use reading and writing in a transactional sense to achieve some purpose in the world at hand.... (p. 4) The failure to provide real purposes for reading suggests that in isolated L2 reading classes (ie, ones in which students are not reading to write), students are not reading but merely practicing reading. This "reading practice...

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