Writing as Process and Product: The Impact of Tool, Genre, Audience Knowledge, and Writer Expertise
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Two experiments investigated the impact of writing tool (word processing or handwriting), genre (narrative or exposition), and audience (familiar or unfamiliar) on measures of writing quality, syntactic complexity, and number and type of initial text production revisions. In the first, 84 undergraduates with little word processing experience wrote letters by hand or computer. The 64 subjects in Experiment 2 were experienced college writers who always wrote by computer. Subjects composed more syntactically complex letters of higher rated quality to an unfamiliar audience than to a familiar one. Handwritten letters were of higher rated quality than word processed. Although there were more total revisions when using a word processor, there were more text-preserving than meaningful revisions. The number and distribution of revisions also depended upon the writers' level of experience. The Hay es and Flower (1980) model of the writing process remains a useful heuristic, but our data indicate that it warrants extension.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Writing Tool, Genre, Audience, Writing Quality, Syntactic Complexity, Revisions, College Writers
Ransdell, Sarah Ellen PhD and Levy, Michael C., "Writing as Process and Product: The Impact of Tool, Genre, Audience Knowledge, and Writer Expertise" (1994). Department of Health Sciences Faculty Articles. 245.