Title

Is Writing as Difficult as It Seems?

ISBN or ISSN

0090-502X

Volume

23

Issue

6

Publication Date / Copyright Date

11-1995

First Page

767

Last Page

779

Publisher

Springer New York LLC

DOI Number

10.3758/BF03200928

Abstract

Experiment 1 assessed the time and effort allocated to writing subprocesses while generating written and verbal protocols over 10 weekly writing sessions. Within a 40-min session, planning time consumed about 45% in the first 5 min, but stabilized at near 30% thereafter. Generating text initially consumed 40% of the writers’ time, peaked at 50% midway, and then declined to its original level. The time spent revising and reviewing was negligible early in writing sessions, but increased substantially late in the sessions. The highest and lowest quality documents could be differentiated on the basis of the amount of time the writers devoted to revising and to the magnitude of their RTs in a secondary interference task. Writers showed consistent, distinctive patterns of transitional probabilities between writing subprocesses both within and across sessions, yielding quantitative representations of their writing styles. In Experiment 2, writers overestimated the amount of time they devote to revising and overestimated the amount of effort they allocate to planning and text generation. Their estimations did not improve after 10 weeks of composing. A time-and-effort-based analysis of writing is proposed to account for these data.

Portions of this paper were presented at the 1993 meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Washington, DC, at the 1994 Computers and Writing Conference in Columbia, Missouri, and at the 1994 European Conference on Writing and Computers in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

Keywords

Writing Subprocesses, Written Protocols, Verbal Protocols, Planning Time, Generating Text, Revising, Reviewing, Quality, Secondary Interference Task

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