Writer's block: the cognitive dimension
Southern Illinois University Press, 1984 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 132 pages
“You don’t know what it is,” wrote Flaubert, “to stay a whole day with your head in your hands trying to squeeze your unfortunate brain so as to find a word.”
Writer’s block is more than a mere matter of discomfort and missed deadlines; sustained experiences of writer’s block may influence career choices. Writers in the business world, professional writers, and students all have known this most common and least studied dysfunction of the composition process. Rose, however, sees it as a limitable problem that can be precisely analyzed and remedied through instruction and tutorial programs.”
Rose defines writer’s block as “an inability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than a lack of skill or commitment,” which is measured by “passage of time with limited functional/ productive involvement in the writing task.” He applies the information processing models of cognitive psychology to reveal dimensions of the problem never before examined.
In his three-faceted approach, Rose develops and administers a questionnaire to identify blockers and nonblockers; through simulated recall, he selects and examines writers experiencing both high and low degrees of blocking; and he proposes a cognitive conceptualization of writer’s block and of the composition process.
In drawing up his model, Rose delineates many cognitive errors that cause blocking, such as inflexible or conflicting planning strategies. He also discusses the practice and strategies that promote effective composition.
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Questionnaire and StimulatedRecall
Case Studies of Two Students
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